By: National Federation of Independent Business On: 12:08PM / Tuesday October 19, 2010
BOSTON — The fact that Gov. Deval Patrick has never heard of the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that represents 8,000 small businesses in his state, explains why they’re supporting his opponent, the organization’s director said today.
“On behalf of our 8,000 members in Massachusetts, we’ve been trying for four years to work with the administration on policies that would help small businesses and stimulate real job growth,” said Bill Vernon, the federation's state director. “His policies, and the economic data, make it clear that he hasn’t been listening.”
Vernon referred to an article posted today by the State House News Service that reported on an event at which the federation announced its support for Baker. When asked why he didn’t get the endorsement, Patrick seemed to know little about the organization or its membership.
“Charlie Baker’s positions on the issues reflect a practical understanding based on real experience,” said Vernon. “We’ve been frustrated with the governor because his policies – and his comments today – reflect a real detachment from small business.”
Vernon said that his members voted overwhelmingly to endorse Baker for governor because of the rising cost of doing business in Massachusetts.
“This administration has done very little to reduce the enormous cost of doing business and creating jobs in Massachusetts,” said Vernon. “We’ve had a lost decade in terms of job growth, largely because of the state’s uncompetitive tax, regulatory and health care policies.”
Vernon noted that the state’s business climate became inhospitable long before the national recession took hold.
“The cost of public pensions has been spinning out of control and driving local taxes higher. Health insurance premiums for small businesses in Massachusetts have increased by double digit rates for the past several years. And the state has one of the most aggressive and meddlesome regulatory systems in the country,” said Vernon. “Add these factors to the recessionary conditions and you’ve got problems that are Massachusetts-only in their severity.”
Vernon said that his members are especially supportive of Baker’s remedy for health care, which emphasizes consumer choice and market competition.
“Charlie Baker has solutions that would fundamentally change the consumer incentives and bring market forces to health care,” said Vernon. “It’s the largest business expense next to employees and taxes, and it’s getting bigger by the day.”
Vernon said that his members also support Baker’s call for a top-to-bottom review of state regulations.
“Small business owners need to know what the rules are now and what they will be in five years,” said Vernon. “We need to enforce the regulations that make sense and get rid of the ones that have outlived their utility or which duplicate federal regulations.”
The National Federation of Independent Business is the country’s leading association of small businesses. For more information, go to www.nfib.org/massachusetts.
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