Over the last few years, the improving economy has put many companies in a better position when it comes to being able to find success in their local areas. However, many owners have continued to cite government red tape, taxes, and fees as potential stumbling blocks on the way to growth. With this in mind, the city of Baltimore is now trying to help entrepreneurs by removing some of these problems from their path.
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recently announced that her office would start repealing nearly two dozen fees charged to companies – known as “minor privilege” fees – that would have ended up costing companies money if they wanted to make minor improvements to their sites, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun. These included one-time fees for the installation of everything from cosmetic additions like outdoor lights and flower displays to more necessary ones like wheelchair ramps, security cameras, and bike racks.
“This is a critical small business initiative,” William H. Cole IV, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s business wing, told the newspaper. “It will be well-received around the city.”
Other positive changes
Rawlings-Blake also announced that 13 more annual fees would be coming off the books as well, and changed to one-time costs, the report said. These mostly relate to new awnings and signs. In all, this should save businesses citywide as much as several hundred thousand dollars, because while many of the fees were relatively small – as little as $70 a year in many cases – they could still add up pretty quickly.
These fee cuts came after Rawlings-Blake previously vetoed a bill passed by the city council to reduce or eliminate many of these fees, the report said. However, that bill would have put those reductions to a public vote in 2016, while this more unilateral action addresses the issue as soon as possible.
This kind of thing seems to be good news for owners in Baltimore, but meanwhile entrepreneurs in other parts of the country may have to do a little more on their own to ensure their companies are enjoying a little more financial success. That might include taking the time to find more affordable small business insurance coverage, including policies for general liability insurance, to potentially save up to a few thousand dollars annually.