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Angelides makes state rep bid on platform of job creation, small business aid

Date: 3/8/2010

March 8, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

LONGMEADOW - Marie Angelides' platform for her run as state representative has a focus on job creation and a straightforward central message: "State government should step aside so private companies can move forward."

The long-time Longmeadow resident is an attorney and Republican and is seeking to win the seat currently occupied by Brian Ashe. She believes current levels of state spending are not the solution to business development because the state is considering new taxes to pay for them.

There are several key issues affecting business development and job creation and Angelides said access to lines of credit is a central problem small businesses are facing. She said businesses don't have the lines for credit they used to which allowed not only for the day-to-day operation of a company but also for expansion.

She said companies are in "an economic squeeze."

The solution, she said, is for lawmakers to sit down with banks to discuss their credit policies.

"We've got to make a change in this," she said.

Angelides added small businesses shouldn't depend on loans from the Small Business Administration alone.

Angelides would also seek to strike down some of the regulations which she said make doing business in the Commonwealth "burdensome." She explained businesses face far fewer restrictions and regulations in other states.

She explained that once the needs of small businesses have been addressed, the state should start to rebuild its manufacturing sector.

"We need a manufacturing base," she said. "Massachusetts has always been known for manufacturing."

While Angelides appreciates the push made in Western Massachusetts in the biotech industries, more can be done. She would work towards a recruitment program for new businesses that would include tax breaks.

She would also support efforts to bring businesses back to Massachusetts that have moved to other states. The governor should be leading a campaign to attract new businesses, she added.

"We don't need another paid position [for business recruitment] in the executive branch," Angelides said.

She noted that other states actively seek companies from one another and Massachusetts should be doing it as well.

Each state representative should be watching his or her district and reaching out to new business as well, she added.

Part of rebuilding manufacturing in the state would be a shift in emphasis in education encouraging more students to be trained as scientists and engineers, she explained. These skilled workers are needed by potential business.

If elected, she said she would question any bill in the House on whether or not it would increase jobs.

"This would be the filter," she said.

Having good jobs would keep the youth of Massachusetts staying here instead of leaving the state, she added.

She noted that years ago new industries would be born out of the research done at colleges such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Why isn't that happening now?" she asked. "We've stifled it with taxes and regulations."

Angelides is also interested in encouraging the growth of agri-tourism in the region. "That's not an area to be neglected," she said.

Agri-tourism is when farmers develop activities and features that draw visitors to their properties. The agri-tourism list for Hampden Country maintained by the state Department of Agricultural Resources includes various pick-your-own berry and apple operations, farms stands, maple syrup production and dairy farms with bakeries and ice cream stands,

"We do have a skilled workforce [in Western Massachusetts]," she said. "The cost of living is low. The word has to get out. It is state government's job to advocate [for us.]"

Angelides has a Web site for her campaign at