In 2017 and 2019 I voted for an economic development program aimed at attracting new manufacturing firms to existing industrial parks, including the long-time vacant Venture Park.
Manufacturing companies bring new money into our community and pay higher property taxes which are key to expanding our tax base and adding well paying jobs to our community. In addition, they provide a strong funding source for our nonprofit agencies that rely on donations for income.
To date, new and existing manufacturing firms have invested in our community. Total capital investments of $70.9 million dollars bring the prospect of between 440-500 jobs that pay at or above the living wage.
In addition to manufacturing, small businesses are a key component to economic stability. They add diversity that makes our local economy strong and better able to withstand economic shocks. I support development of programs scaled to encourage the growth of new and existing small businesses.
I will continue to look for opportunities to encourage the growth small and large businesses that pay a living wage in Lawrence.