It was a menu full of business friendly themes as Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner George Gervais spoke to a lunchtime crowd of more than 40 business owners, executives and attorneys hosted in Portland by Pierce Atwood’s Government Relations Practice Group.
Commissioner Gervais discussed the Administration’s goal of attracting new business, putting Mainers back to work and moving our economy forward. “A number of positive changes have already been made in the first 11 months and all that work is starting to payoff,” said Commissioner Gervais. “The Administration continues to push its agenda and transform Maine’s overall business climate.”
A team of Governor’s Account Executives has been formed within DECD and supplemented with recently assigned business liaisons within each state agency. These changes are all part of LD 1, a regulatory reform law aimed at creating a more business friendly climate and streamlining state government.
Pierce Atwood partners Chris Howard and Jon Block joined Commissioner Gervais to share their thoughts on Maine’s business climate and outline some existing laws that make Maine attractive to new and expanding businesses.
Mr. Block said Maine has a lot to offer to new investors in Maine as evidenced by the April 2011 Ernst & Young report in which Maine ranked number one in the country for the most competitive tax structure for new investments. Mr. Block explained that much of Maine’s high ranking was due to the changes in tax laws that put Maine’s tax of manufacturing equipment on par with other state’s tax programs. Mr. Block drafted and advocated for the successful enactment of both of these laws. Block also mentioned several other laws that are attractive to new investment in the State.
Chris Howard highlighted that, despite the attractive laws, the attitude of state leaders and employees is the single most important aspect in attracting new business to Maine. He suggested that Maine would benefit by greater promotion of itself as a state that is an attractive location for businesses.