U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stopped by the economically beleaguered state of Michigan to announce the opening of a new “Commerce Connect” office in the city of Plymouth. According to the Detroit Free Press, the office “will act as a one-stop shop for businesses to access all the federal government has to offer, from research and development tools, to grants, to licensing assistance.”
Too few businesses actually know of the existence of some of our programs, because you needed a GPS system to navigate the federal bureaucracy,” Locke said. “The bottom line is this. If you want to see the business you own or work for getting bigger or better, Commerce Connect is there to help."
He’s right about one thing: the federal bureaucracy is horribly complicated. But the article notes that Locke also said the administration has to help businesses become more efficient. So the agency that Locke says one needs a GPS system to navigate is the same one that is going to help boost businesses efficiency?
However, suppose the Commerce Connect offices do provide services that actually help businesses. Why can’t private consulting firms fill that role and why should the government spend taxpayer money to help business owners earn larger profits?
For more, see this essay on business subsidies at the Department of Commerce.