For the last decade, growth in the northwestern part of Anne Arundel County has increased significantly. It is a special cove that provides many opportunities for all who call this part of the county home. My goal, as a representative in the area, is to ensure these attributes remain plentiful and protected. Businesses are a key component to this community recipe.

Since 2015, I have supported efforts to reduce business taxes, provided reductions associated with impact fees and supported efforts to simplify the permitting process. However, there is more that can be done. Our roles as legislators also should be to provide an environment where talent can be found. Low crime, great schools and a vibrant local economy are elements that enhance a business’s ability to be successful.

During the coming months, it is my intent to push initiatives that increase business opportunities and successes. Fort Meade is the center of many economic enhancements, to include governmental and cyber-related growth. These positions act as a conduit to promote additional industry-related developments that only help with job creation and economic stimulus. Maryland Live! Casino also has contributed to the fiscal health of our county.

Recently, we passed legislation that started a conversation on the construction of a conference center that will provide another anchor for economic growth — while, at the same time, enable our school system to host graduations locally.

In addition, I have and I will continue to push for an exit ramp to direct traffic off of Route 100 and directly onto Arundel Mills Circle to address concerns about utilization on Arundel Mills Boulevard.

Finally, as we move forward, my hope is to keep the spotlight on this area, because West County truly is the heart of the state.

Anne Arundel County Councilman Pete Smith serves District 1. He can be contacted at 410-222-1401, 410-222-6890 and peter.smith@aacounty.org.