Annapolis - Change Maryland announced today that nearly 6,500 small businesses vanished or left the state since 2007 - more evidence of a sharp decline in the productive components of the economy. As with other reports Change Maryland has produced, this publicly available data comes from government sources, namely the U.S. Census Bureau.
"Governor O'Malley says repeatedly the most important priority is 'jobs, jobs, jobs," said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan. "If we are to hold the Governor accountable to the standard he set, then by every objective measure he has failed miserably."
This latest Change Maryland report draws on census bureau economic research that quantifies the number of firms from one to 99 employees during 2007 to 2010, the latest year for which numbers are available. Confirming earlier Change Maryland findings, government data shows the state's ability to support business, produce jobs and maintain its tax base is eroding. This report comes on the heels of Maryland leading the region in job loss this year and in out-migration of tax payers from 2007 to 2010.
Since 2007, in addition to losing 6,494 small businesses, Maryland has lost 31,000 residents of tax-paying households and 40,000 jobs. "The pattern here is unmistakable," said Hogan. "In record numbers, taxpayers, jobs and small businesses are fleeing state government's big-spending, over-taxed, over-regulated, anti-jobs agenda.”
Maryland's loss of small businesses is statistically tied with Delaware as the worst in the region, as a percentage of such firms that existed in 2007. Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia saw relatively smaller declines in a period of economic activity marked by pre-recession, recession and feeble recovery. On a percentage basis of firms lost, Delaware lost 4.72%, Maryland 4.71%, West Virginia 4.51%, Virginia 3.66%, and Pennsylvania 2.64%, Washington D.C., on the other hand, experienced a 2.59% gain in small businesses.
D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, in widely reported remarks this Spring, said, "thank God Maryland keeps raising their taxes." Earlier this month, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell reminded Governor O'Malley in a joint appearance on CNN that “businesses and people are fleeing Maryland for Virginia because he’s raising taxes on just about everything that moves."
In a separate report this Spring , Change Maryland documented a record 24 tax and fee increases from 2007 to 2012 that remove an additional $2.4 billion from the economy annually.
"We are no longer able to compete in our region," said Hogan. "There should be no mistaking the fact that neighboring jurisdictions see our loss as their gain."
Change Maryland is the state’s largest and fastest growing non-partisan, grass-roots citizen organization with more than 18,000 Democrat, Republican and Independent members. It now has more than twice as many Facebook fans than the Maryland Democratic and Republican parties added together.