City Council Chairman Arrington Dixon yesterday urged Washington businesses to work closer with their Maryland and Virginia neighbors and he suggested that easily accessible jobs in the suburbs be created for unemployed District residents.

"Competition with the suburbs is not as healthy as it should be," Dixon told a gathering of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Dixon stressed that Washington is a regional area and that cooperation does not stop at the city's borders.

Dixon, addressing the group's 59th annual meeting, said areas must be defined in which the jurisdictions can be more supportive of each other, particularly in job opportunities.

At the same time Dixon urged the business people to expand their businesses within the District to increase the city's tax base. Property taxes are forcing many residents from the city, he said.

In his remarks, Dixon also made an apparent reference to an article in The Washington Post on Wednesday which stated that the Potomac Electric Power Company "has picked up a powerful ally" in Dixon.

Dixon, whose wife is director of consumer affairs for Pepco, has asked a council committee to consider legislation that would prohibit the Office of People's Counsel from spending money to prepare its case against rate increases without first having council approval.

Dixon began his speech by saying he is an ally of business people, an ally of senior citizens and an ally of the mentally retarded.

Dixon said he usually doesn't get front page coverage from The Post except "when they want to stick it to you."