The Virginia economy is facing significant challenges. Our economic growth rate last year was six tenths of one percent, putting us at 39 out of 50 states. Looking at wage growth data, we were ranked 44th out of 50 states with a wage growth rate of 1.7%. This year’s gubernatorial election presents two choices: One choice is about policies favoring long term economic growth that will provide jobs and prosperity. The other is to favor approaches that grow government, saddle the private economy and taxpayers, stall economic growth, and make it difficult for Virginia to compete successfully with other states.The principal challenge for Virginia’s next governor will be to get Virginia growing again.
Ed has a number of plans to help spur economic growth in our Commonwealth, centered on resetting our economic development mindset, implementing regulatory and occupational licensing reform, expanding our outdoor economy, and increasing access to broadband.
As governor, Ed will:
- Provide leadership and direction for the Virginia Economic Development Agency
- Promote regional strategies such as the GO Virginia
- Enhance corridors such as Rt. 58, Rt. 29, I-81, I-64, I-95, I-77, I-85 and I-66 for the transfer of goods and services
- Convene stakeholders from the Center for Innovative Technology, State Council on Higher Education, VEDP, and GO Virginia to reinforce Ed’s commitment to growth
- Grow the innovation economy by establishing the Virginia Technology Transfer Center and increasing access to capital for start-ups
To read Ed’s Plan “From 1607 to 2017: Claiming Leadership, An Economic Growth Plan for Virginia”, click HERE.
In order to grow our economy and create better jobs, Virginia needs to modernize our tax code – and more importantly we need tax relief. Virginia ranks 33rd in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. Virginia can and should do better.
As governor, Ed will:
- Provides the FIRST income tax rate cut since rates were established in 1972
- Cuts individual income tax rates by 10 percent across-the-board
- Sparks natural, organic economic growth to diversify our economy and create more than 53,000 new full-time private-sector jobs in five years
- Puts Virginia on a path toward meaningful local business tax reform
To read his full “Cutting Taxes for ALL Virginians” Plan, click HERE.
For too often and too long, when it comes to economic policy Virginia governors have had a near singular focus on trying to lure Fortune 100 companies to move their headquarters lock, stock, and barrel into Virginia. While Ed will be a relentless marketer of Virginia all across the country and all across the globe, his ‘Removing Barriers to Job Creation for ALL Virginians’ Plan is part of a broader reorientation of economic development strategy toward more natural, organic growth through small business formation and the expansion of existing businesses in Virginia.
As governor, Ed will:
- Implement the two-for-one regulation policy, requiring agencies to repeal or modernize two regulations for every new one
- Provide businesses the ability to ‘flag’ an overly burdensome or costly regulation through Regulatory Red Flag program
- Apply the TSA pre-check model to business regulation, allowing for better cross-agency coordination when businesses interact with state government
- Reduce the Cost of Dealing with Government by 50 Percent
- Update and Improve the Commonwealth’s Business One Stop Portal
To read Ed’s full “Removing Barriers to Jobs Creation for ALL Virginians” Plan, click HERE.
Virginia’s outdoor recreation industry is a sleeping giant, already employing thousands of our citizens, with the potential for employing thousands more if we recognize it as a significant industry and promote it like our other great industries. Providing more access and opportunities to recreate in the Commonwealth is not only good for business, but it provides an outstanding quality of life for our citizens and a draw for businesses looking to locate in a place where employees and their families can enjoy outdoor opportunities.
Expanding our outdoor economy, a Gillespie Administration will focus on the following strategy:
- Identify Job and Capital Investment Opportunities to Grow the Outdoor Economy.
- Outdoor “Summit on the Summit’
- Establish TheOutdoorDominion.com to market all outdoor tourism
- Open Clinch River State Park
- Open 50 new stream and water access points
To read Ed’s “Outdoor Dominion” Plan, click HERE.
Access to reliable high-speed internet service has become essential for businesses and individuals to grow and prosper. That is why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has classified broadband as critical infrastructure.
Incredibly, 70% of the world’s internet traffic flows through Northern Virginia, yet over 900,000 of our fellow Virginians, predominantly in rural regions, lack access to high-speed internet.1 Businesses and individuals need access to broadband in order to succeed in the 21st century economy. A lack of broadband not only restricts economic growth, but limits innovation and access to healthcare and education, and hinders public safety. The goal of a Gillespie Administration will be to ensure high-speed internet access to more than half of those without it today.
Fixing broadband access in Virginia, Ed will:
- Reform funding mechanisms to better incentivize private broadband production.
- Improve cross-agency collaboration and data sharing by specifically assigning key areas of broadband development to avoid overlap and confusion.
- Lead an effort to reform anti-competitive regulations that are blocking or hindering the expansion of broadband in the Commonwealth.
- Accelerate private investment, provide state leadership, support, and funding in partnership with localities and private sector service providers.
- Direct the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Secretary of Technology’s to submit a quarterly Broadband Report, summarizing all state activities and efforts that are underway to improve broadband for all Virginians
Ed is proud to be endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce BizPAC.
To read Ed’s full “Plan to Close the Digital Divide” in our Commonwealth, click HERE.