In a Baltimore Sun op-ed, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III countered the picture of the State’s relationship with businesses painted at the State of the State address by using examples of steps taken during his tenure to grow the county’s economic base and make it more business friendly. As shared in the op-ed:
We heard complaints from businesses about the snail-pace process for permitting, the lack of vision for growing businesses and the cry from residents for more upscale retail options. We proceeded with a sense of urgency to change the climate. Our focus was on creating jobs and expanding the county’s commercial tax base.
So what did we do? We created our Economic Development Incentive Fund (EDI Fund) in partnership with the County Council. This unprecedented $50 million local economic development program has approved projects that will leverage $17 million in county funds into more than $300 million in private investment, growing or retaining almost 3,000 jobs and giving a great boost to our commercial tax base.
We revamped our permitting process and created a new agency, the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement. This new agency has enabled us to streamline permitting functions and make them more timely and predictable. We created a new Prince George’s County Economic Development Strategy that provides a roadmap for growing those business sectors already seeded in the county and which have the greatest promise for expansion and high wage jobs.
Our partnership with the state has been grounded in the notion that a stronger Prince George’s County leads to a stronger Maryland. The state’s investments in public safety and education have played a significant role in shaping our resurgence. Our efforts to reduce crime to its lowest levels in 30 years and improve the performance of our schools are important components of our strategy to make Prince George’s County and Maryland more attractive to businesses and residents.
For more information read the full op-ed in The Baltimore Sun.