PORT ANGELES — Businesses grown in incubators such as the one at the new Lincoln Center should receive preferences for government contracts, state Attorney General Christine Gregoire said Thursday.
The level at which the state’s business and occupation tax applies to small businesses also should be increased to provide an incentive for those businesses, she said.
Gregoire is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for governor against former state Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge and King County Executive Ron Sims.
She toured the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center and Clallam Business Incubator on Thursday afternoon as part of a swing through Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Gregoire said jobs and the economy are the state’s top issue, followed by education and health care.
The Clallam County Economic Development Council’s Clallam netWorks and the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center are examples of promising economic development programs because the agencies involved work together, she said.
“You have done a great job with your economic clusters approach,” she said after listening to Clallam Business Incubator Task Force Chairman Jacques Dulin explain how bankers put aside their competitive concerns to develop financing plans for emerging businesses.“Economic development goals are reachable, but it takes partnering. Everyone must set aside their territory,” Gregoire said.