The Maryland Chamber of Commerce hosted an executive roundtable discussion with Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot on Tuesday, July 28 at the Chamber headquarters in Annapolis.
The candid discussion with Comptroller Franchot covered an array of topics – from tax issues and procurement reform to unclaimed property and what can be done to make Maryland a more business-friendly state.
Touting the “genius of the private sector,” Franchot stressed the need to focus on the Maryland consumer, adding that “consumers are concerned … there is concern out there with our citizens [which in turn means they are] not spending [and that] impacts Maryland.”
“A sustained economic recovery comes down to quality, family supporting jobs, and the only way to create and retain those jobs is to instill confidence in our consumers to spend, and in our business to expand and hire,” Franchot said.
One theme Franchot repeated during the discussion was the need for ‘stability and predictability’ – in particular when it comes to Maryland’s regulatory, legislative and tax environments. He felt that meant a pledge for no new tax or fee increases, no new regulatory changes, and for an emphasis on customer service. All of this together would serve to provide businesses a degree of certainty when it comes to making plans for growth within Maryland or expansion into the State.
With the federal government such a major economic asset in terms of the overall Maryland economy, Franchot expressed the need to diversify Maryland’s economy, building one grounded by a robust private sector, one that isn’t overly reliant on the federal government.
Franchot emphasized that the Chamber could be very influential in helping to reform the States procurement process, which he felt needs a major overhaul.