Tiffany Boyle, who was elected the Newport News Commissioner of the Revenue in November, said she plans to host regular meetings with local small-business owners.
“Small business is near and dear to me and seeing it grow and the economy grow is important to me,” Boyle told several attendees of a small business roundtable at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank offices in Copeland Industrial Park on Friday morning.
Boyle also owns and runs Emerge the Magazine, which targets entrepreneurs and business owners. On Friday, Boyle asked for feedback on businesses’ experience with the Commissioner of the Revenue office.
“A lot of brand-new people opening businesses aren’t sure of all the steps they have to go through,” said attendee Kate Baker, a lobbyist for the regional Retail Alliance.
Baker said easy-to-find links on the website showing the various logistical steps residents need to go through when starting a business could be helpful.
“They always say less taxes would be nice,” Denbigh Warwick Business Association President Beth Willis said about the association members.
Willis said it might be worthwhile to collect data from small businesses who don’t renew their business licenses to see why and to better understand local needs.
Carol Meredith, an assistant director in the city's Development Department, agreed there could be improvement in reaching out on a grassroots level to small businesses to see what they need. Many businesses listed with the office are home-based or may be people trying something new like consulting, she said.
Meredith said she would like to collaborate with the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office for getting the word out about workshops and education for local businesses to improve participation.