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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.

Mayor Verner to deliver State of the City address at GSI breakfast on Friday

This Friday's Good Morning Greater Spokane event features Spokane Mayor Mayor Verner giving an annual state of the city address.

The Greater Spokane Inc. event starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. It is expected to run until 9 a.m.

Tickets are $25 for members and $55 for nonmembers. The rate for members goes up to $30 on Feb. 9.

To order or find more information, here's the link.

Mayor Verner wants to meet with Spokane small business owners

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner is hosting a “Let’s Talk” conversation focused on small business and its challenges on Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the city council chambers in City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Three area small business owners will talk about their challenges during the recession. Others are invited to take part.

The city will also release results from a recent survey that asked questions about the impact of economic conditions, workforce issues, access to capital, and local government’s role.

CityCable 5 will carry the 90-minute session live. It will also be streamed live on www.spokanecity.org under the “Watch It Live” section for CityCable5.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said the mayor held a series of business talks in 2008. Wih the economy still weak, “we decided to go back to look at where are there impediments to small business and are there any places where the city can place renewed focus?” she said.