Front Street's Director Seth Lane was a speaker at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce's forum for small businesses on May 13. Seth discussed how the City of Gainesville can foster small business growth. The Chamber created a report outlining the requests and suggestions made by local business leaders. Click through for highlights from the report!
As the country celebrates National Small Business Week, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce today released a report detailing its findings from the “Growing Your Small Business: A Conversation with City Leaders” dialogue, held on May 13.
With then‐Mayor‐Elect Ed Braddy, City Commissioners and city government staff in attendance, the dialogue served as a channel for more than 130 people to share constructive insight and hear actionable ideas on how the City of Gainesville could better support small businesses.
Presentations from small business owners and small group discussions at the meeting focused on the five stages of business development including conception, start‐up, growth, expansion, and established.
The Chamber’s report compiles feedback and recommendations for the city concentrating on each of these stages. The feedback and recommendations received involve the following six principles: accessibility, accountability, simplicity, consistency, affordability, and efficiency.
The City of Gainesville should use these principles as criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of policies, procedures and personnel affecting small businesses.
The Chamber’s report provides a synopsis of the public dialogue and includes a collection of 27 recommendations to the City of Gainesville on how to promote small business growth.
Key report recommendations include the following:
Website: Launch a simplified, comprehensive, and current one‐stop website to serve as a roadmap for new small businesses and a resource for existing businesses.
Customer Service: Train city staff to master and maintain a “problem solving” mindset and not a “problem stating” mindset in interactions with small businesses.
Zoning: Replicate the Innovation Square “Simplify and Succeed” zoning reform model throughout Gainesville to facilitate business growth.
Standardization: Impose standardized policies throughout the city to ensure there is no inconsistent enforcement of rules.
Business Cost Reduction: Reduce assessment fees, lower utility costs and eliminate complicated and unnecessary regulations.
Centralized Business Assistance Office: Establish a centralized office to help small business owners navigate regulatory processes and process payments.
Small businesses create many jobs and are a key economic driver for the City of Gainesville.
The success, or failure, of small businesses will shape the future economic landscape of the city.
The Chamber seeks to collaborate with the city to help small businesses grow, which would promote job creation and economic development.
“We look forward to working together with the City of Gainesville to implement these recommendations and help expand small business opportunities throughout our region,” said Gainesville Chamber President & CEO Tim Giuliani.
The Chamber encourages the public to remain engaged as it advocates for the city to improve the environment for small business development.
Source: Chamber of Commerce