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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 21, 2013 03:05 PM
From: Representative Keith Gillespie
To: All House members
Subject: A bill creating Community Development Authorities for leasing out land and lending money to micro enterprises
I plan to introduce a bill that creates Community Development Authorities to focus on developing blighted and low-income neighborhoods through micro-enterprises.

The backbone of our country’s economy has always been small business. Micro enterprises embody the heart of small business as they operate with only one to five employees and use only a small amount of capital. The power of these micro enterprises is that not only does it provide a job for the person beginning the startup, but it creates additional jobs in the early period of the company’s existence.

Additionally, these micro enterprises provide a chance to begin creating jobs in low income neighborhoods, while answering the question of what to do with delinquent or abandoned property. The Commonwealth recognized the importance of dealing with the large number of blighted and abandoned properties in our communities, when the General Assembly passed the important Land Bank Act in 2012. My bill builds on this law through its focus on micro-enterprise development.

Recognizing that any loan program has to be conducted intelligently, the proposed bill builds a mechanism of tax credits and private partnerships that ensures the program is self-sustaining. This matters, as the financial recession and the current state of our budget make it imperative that every state dime is spent wisely. The bill does not require state appropriation, but provides the promise of long term budgetary benefits.

The provision of jobs means that many low income individuals will need less help from the state, thereby lowering welfare rolls. Instead of paying to support these individuals, they can have the opportunity to create their own living and see an increase in their own standard of living. We can provide a path out of poverty and allow individuals the income security to become taxpayers, not welfare recipients.

As communities across the Commonwealth continue to cope with the economic recession, this bill provides an important push in the direction of removing people from poverty, lowering welfare and turning around struggling neighborhoods.

Introduced as HB2141