Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Small businesses are the life-blood of our economy and the entrepreneurship we see in Hillsborough makes our community vibrant. To continue to foster economic growth and promote job growth in our town we need to place greater emphasis on promoting entrepreneurship and reducing the barriers residents face when starting their own businesses. We can achieve this by facilitating access to capital, working with partner agencies, and improving customer service provided by town departments.
A sharp focus on our economic development will diversify our tax base, which will help reduce the tax burden on private homeowners. Matt thinks Hillsborough must remain committed to recruiting businesses willing to invest in our community, including in the county-identified Economic Development District where Waterstone is located. We can bring additional jobs to Hillsborough by focusing on economic development and the infrastructure enhancements.
Public transit is a vital part of economic development, an important resource for those who cannot or do not drive, and is a way to fulfill our ethical responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint. Currently, Orange County and Chapel Hill Transit provide bus routes across the county, linking Mebane, Efland, Hillsborough, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro. These routes are helping to bring the county together economically and socially. However, as our region continues to grow, the need for additional transit options will be critical. To reduce our environmental footprint in Hillsborough, we must continue to partner with GoTriangle, Orange Public Transit, and Chapel Hill Transit to increase the availability of public transit options.
Matt will continue to champion smart solutions that are focused on adding bus routes, including those to historically under-served areas, and promoting greater use of express bus lines. He thinks a combination of bus service and regional commuter rail can be perfectly complemented by the proposed Amtrak station in Hillsborough, which could ultimately provide commuter rail to both the RTP and the Triad on existing rail lines. Matt is committed to working with the Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Rail Road Corporation to complete the Hillsborough Amtrak station.
Sustainability and Environmental Protection
Matt thinks that economic development must also support the health of the environment. He will support smart growth that protects our local water sources from degradation and pollution. Growth that does occur will need to impact the environment minimally. That’s why Matt supports incentivizing businesses to build to greener specifications that use less water and energy. Specifically, he supports development that reduces greenhouse gas emissions (including reductions in car emissions) in order to make a local contribution to reducing the impacts of global climate change. With increased economic activity comes the potential for greater waste and that’s why Matt supports continuing the aggressive solid waste reduction goals through the Solid Waste Advisory Group (SWAG), which Matt sits on. We must always evaluate who will bear the environmental brunt of development as part of our commitment to social justice and sustainability,. The beauty that brings people and business to Hillsborough and environs must not be compromised.