At a meeting with State Business Roundtables in Washington, D.C. last April, representatives of the White House Business Council (WHBC) indicated their intent to convene meetings with business leaders in all 50 states to ask how the Obama Administration can best support their growth. The Vermont Business Roundtable willingly offered to host the Vermont session and, earlier this month, convened 20 CEOs at Dwight Asset Management’s offices to meet with Jeanne Hulit, Regional Administrator, New England Region, US/SBA, and a member of the WHBC.
At Hulit’s invitation, members gave input and feedback on direct experiences with federal programs and government agencies that highlighted opportunities for improvement in the way government interacts with and provides services to business. Among the themes mentioned by CEOs were the following: difficulties with federal contracts due to political wrangling over budget; lack of national policy and/or lack of alignment with other policies related to manufacturing; examples of unintended consequences regarding conflicting/competing policies; the need to get back on the investment side of the equation regarding education policies (preK through higher education); lack of access to capital, and effects of banking re-regulation on community banks; unintended limitations associated with the successful EB5 program; importance of H2B program and increasing costs since 9/11 – unintended consequences on immigrant community workforce to state economic development efforts; and, importance of continuity/ extension of tax credits on energy projects.
This input will be incorporated with information gleaned from other meetings across the country, and serve to inform future Administration efforts.
On a related note, the Roundtable and New England Council will co-host a summer breakfast meeting with Congressman Peter Welch on July 11th. Members interested in attending should contact [email protected] for information and registration by July 6th.