In a recent guest editorial (“Another View: Incentives for business receive scrutiny, merit support,” May 12) by Rep. Amy Volk, she made it clear that she and Gov. LePage have one thing in common: They both misunderstand the Maine economy. Instead of looking to build upon Maine’s competitive advantages, they’re mired in the past. Their economic policy agenda is unrealistic, counterproductive and based on platitudes and rhetoric that are not followed up by action.

Volk heralds tax incentives for “large-scale manufacturers” (generally big out-of-state corporations) as the savior to the Maine economy. But she’s missing the point: Maine is a small business state, with 97 percent of Maine’s businesses having fewer than 50 employees. The most effective way to grow our economy is to help existing Maine businesses expand.

She’s right about one thing: The state is operating with limited resources to spend on economic development. The question facing lawmakers is: What is the best way to spend limited resources in a way that maximizes taxpayer investment? If Amy Volk and Paul LePage had their way, they would take those limited resources and dole them out to big business. For every dollar in tax breaks given to a big business, there is one less dollar available to help a local Maine business revitalize our downtowns and our Main Streets — the hearts of our communities.

I’m a small-business owner. My six-person company just celebrated its 18-year anniversary. I did not locate my business in Maine because of tax breaks. I don’t need them to make my business go. I work hard — and all I ask for in return is predictability and fair rules.

I agree with the main point of the Alan Caron column that Volk cites (“Maine has two welfare systems, but one gets much less scrutiny,” April 10): Mainers want their legislators to work together to craft economic development strategies that will grow small businesses just like mine.