The Feb. 3 Food article “Dining delayed: Why new restaurants don’t debut on time” covered some of the bureaucratic land mines that businesses face, but it failed to go deeper into the true culprit of time and money lost: the D.C. government. For both new and well-established businesses, the numerous permits and licenses that must be obtained and the fees paid are the true indication of our city’s cumbersome, bureaucratic processes. That is why I introduced a bill that would create an ombudsman for business owners to assist with interacting with government agencies, eliminate the need for a certificate of occupancy prior to being awarded a basic business license, lower some fees, waive permitting fees when an owner opens or relocates a business, and extend the trade-name issuance from two years to five years to remove the burden of costly biennial reporting.
This bill begins a long-overdue and necessary conversation about how the government can enact responsible laws and regulations that do not hinder the greatest drivers of our local economy. If the District is as business-friendly as it claims, then it must look inward to find genuine ways to reform practices and procedures.
David Grosso, Washington
The writer, an independent, is an
at-large member of the D.C. Council.