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Mayor Verner’s seven 2011 resolutions: Be more business-focused

Mayors 2011 State of the City AddressSpokane Mayor Mary Verner is looking to burnish her relations with the city's business community.
Last week her honor released a list of "Seven in Eleven" action steps the city intends to follow this year.

Those came from a survey sent to city businesses, followed by comments from city staff and Greater Spokane Incorporated.

One goal, simplifying a complex administrative process when a business changes its "use,"  was described in a recent SR story by Jon Brunt.

We spoke with city Economic Development Specialist Andrew Worlock and got some insight into the why and how of the whole effort.

The main point, he noted, is that much of this is "inward-facing" work to refine and improve they city's business-related processes.

One example is the No. 1 item on the list of seven: improving a "Surviving Construction" plan to help business owners disrupted by road or street work.

The city needs to do "a better job" of developing a toolkit and an online resource list to help affected businesses push through those disruptions, Worlock said.

One first step, he noted, is a city-sponsored workshop called "Open for Business, Making the Best of Rough Road Construction."

That free workshop will be March 24 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., at Spokane City Hall. It will be recorded and broadcast over City Cable 5.

We'll do another blog entry and business section story on that business workshop next month.

Other projects on the list of seven are creating a permitting checklist for small businesses and improving online access to business license and permitting information.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.