8-19-11: Baltimore Elections 2011 — Business Climate
As part of our ongoing coverage of the mayoral election, we’re looking this morning at the business climate. We asked each of the mayoral candidates: how would you interact with with business community?
We heard from Frank Conaway and Jody Landers. This morning we talk with Jack Lambert of the Baltimore Business Journal, and Darius Irani, director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University.
Mayoral Answers: How will you interact with the business community?
I will spend a lot of time, energy and money to encourage small business opportunities. Small business is what carries this country and provides most of the countries jobs. I would recognize and help monetarily, and would advise people to pursue business.
Jody Landers I will meet regularly with business leaders in the City, in partnership with such groups as the Greater Baltimore Committee, The Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Baltimore Economic Alliance and the local neighborhood business associations in order to keep lines of communication open and to assure that the City is being supportive of local business initiatives. I will engage the business community in helping the City to evaluate and improve the permit process and all customer service related functions.
I will also work through these same groups to involve them in the creation of a Baltimore City Land Bank that will focus on demolishing and redeveloping vacant and abandoned buildings in the City for both commercial and residential use. I will also look to business leaders to work with my administration to implement and promote home-buying incentives for employees. My goal will be to involve every major employer in the City with efforts to promote City living and to provide incentives for buying a home in a City neighborhood.
I will work with the School Superintendent to foster mentoring relationships and work-study opportunities between businesses and our high schools. I will enlist the support of the business community in helping to develop a true regional approach to planning and funding transportation and economic development projects.
As Mayor, I will take a personal interest in promoting the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Bridging the Gap initiative, which is designed to advance the business culture of greater Baltimore by fostering an atmosphere in which majority and minority and women-owned businesses can form mutually beneficial strategic partnerships. Bridging the Gap strives to provide businesses with the tools and support necessary to develop such collaborations.