Gubernatorial candidate Chris Doughty pledged, if elected, to implement a “bill of rights” for small businesses, which would aim to make it easier and less costly for them to operate in Massachusetts.
Doughty, a Wrentham businessman, said Thursday the so-called bill of rights would represent “a commitment from the executive branch of government to protect small businesses.”
“I just want the small businesses to know I’ve got their backs,” said Doughty, a Republican running for governor. “We don’t want them to leave. We need them. ”
He said the document, which would consist of unofficial operating principles for the executive branch to follow, consists of three major themes that would “make it simpler for businesses to succeed” in the Bay State.
The first would provide more ease for businesses working with state government, which includes receiving an “accurate and timely response” to their information requests, and allowing for businesses to file complaints regarding a violation of their rights.
Doughty is also pushing for less complicated government regulations in terms of how businesses are required to operate.
Businesses would be notified via email of any pending rules changes and given adequate time to comply with all new changes. They would also be reminded of upcoming compliance requirements and permitting would be more streamlined through a “user-friendly website.”
Doughty said he also wants to provide some fee and tax relief for small businesses. Massachusetts is among the most expensive states to operate a business in the country, he said, and many small businesses that export goods have told him that they are looking to leave.
In addition, he said the pandemic has brought about a reduction in service-based businesses. For example, about 23% of the state’s restaurants have closed, Doughty said, citing figures shared by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association in the fall of 2020.
He also cited the high unemployment rate in Massachusetts, which, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is tied with four other states for 32nd place in the country, at 3.9%.
According to Doughty’s proposal, businesses under his administration would have the right to “favorable and fair tax and fee requirements to encourage business growth and investment.”
“This is the first step of many for the Doughty administration,” he said. “Our focus is on Massachusetts. Our opponents in this race are very much focused on national issues. We are very focused on making Massachusetts a great place to live and work, where people can thrive and prosper. ”
Doughty will face the endorsed Republican candidate Geoff Diehl in a September primary, with the winner facing Democratic candidate and Attorney General Maura Healey in November.