A public hearing held in DC Council arrived at a conclusion that minority-owned and small businesses both require help to survive.
Several witnesses testified before the Business & Economic Development committee members on Wednesday on three bills introduced by Kenyan McDuffie, the committee chairman as well as Charles Allen, a member of the committee. These bills would provide financial aid to legacy and small businesses experiencing high rents as well as extensive competition from the national retailers.
ANC commissioners, advocates of local business, proprietors and others explained some challenges faced by small business entrepreneurs, including high property tax, rent-digging landlord, extensive regulations as well as absence of commercial spaces. The challenges also include bigger forces such as migration of consumers to huge stores as well as online sites.
A few of these challenges are impacting the commercial corridors visibly such as Georgia Avenue, Jennifer Kuiper, the director of the area’s Main Street initiative testified. The neighbourhood holds a commercial vacuity rate of only 20 percent in spite of being located a good location, Kuiper added.
Most of the witnesses that testified on Wednesday agreed to the fact that the small businesses require support to prohibit job loss, takeover of the chains as well as cultural erasure. Meanwhile, several also proposed modifications to the three bills as well as alternative ideas.