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Allan Fung will make Rhode Island the best state in New England for business.

We want Rhode Island to be the land of startups, strong small businesses, and an attractive place for companies to expand into.

For starters, we’re going to LOWER TAXES.

In my first term, we want to responsibly lower the sales tax each year to end up at 5%, or the lowest in New England (outside of New Hampshire which doesn’t have one).

Let’s keep Rhode Islanders shopping in Rhode Island.  I want to see East Providence and Cumberland with as much economic development as Seekonk and Attleboro.

While we are reducing taxes, we are also going to CUT THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN RHODE ISLAND.  Introducing, the LOW FEE GUARANTEE. 

In the first six months we are going to comb through every single occupational licensing, permitting, and business incorporation fee we charge, and make them the lowest in New England!  And in order to make it easier for startups, we will waive all fees for their first year in business.

Look at it through the eyes of an entrepreneur… Rhode Island charges you $230 just to file articles of incorporation, but in New Hampshire, it’s only $100, in Maine $145.  Let’s get even more specific, in order to get an Auto Body Repair shop permit, it costs $900 in Rhode Island, but only $450 in Massachusetts.  All this does is foster stronger border towns in Massachusetts at the expense of Rhode Island businesses.

Additionally, occupational licenses are not in line with neighboring states.  Just look at the initial licensing fees for dentists. In Massachusetts, its $660, but cross the state line into Rhode Island, and you will pay $915. This is only one example of the many disparities that effect the working class.

I want businesses to be able to say, “Hey look, Rhode Island is cleaning up its act and not trying to stick it to us at every turn.”  That type of attitude and culture is created when you do the little things right.

And while making it less expensive for businesses, we’re also going to make it the friendliest state to do business in.  Introducing the BUSINESS CONCIERGE PROGRAM, which has been key to making Cranston one of the Top 50 Cities in America.

The Concierge Center is a one-stop location for startups and business owners, walking them through the process from business plan to ribbon cut as quickly and as stress-free as possible.  A business owner will be working with the same economic development professional from start to finish – helping them cut through red tape and letting them know what they need to do right from the start, instead of running into time-consuming roadblocks because one department isn’t talking to another.

You’re paying a lot in taxes, and you shouldn’t dread interacting with the government you pay for, like you dread a root canal.

I grew up in a small family business, and so it doesn’t surprise anyone that in my time as Mayor, I’ve been their biggest champion.  I saw my own dad dig into his pockets to make sure payroll was met or have to deal with the newest fee or tax that would be added to the backs of small businesses.  For many small businesses, they are at their breaking point.  How can Governor Raimondo justify helping billionaires from out of state before taking care of the small business guys who have been struggling here for years?  It’s time to put Rhode Islanders and their businesses first.