So today at City Counci (watch the video at 1:36), I introduced the following "Small Business Initiative" which was well-received by the Council and will be voted on next week. In light of the upcoming thousands of lay-offs from the State, now is the time for the City to make sure that we are making the process of opening a new business accessible, simplified and as hassle-free as is safely possible. People need to know that Raleigh is open for business!
I. Establish a Small Business Office within City Government
Navigating what is required to open a small business in Raleigh can be confusing and frustrating. There needs to be a place in City Government where small business owners can go and have an advocate. A single point of contact where they can go to learn all they need to do, coordinate inspections, and streamline the permitting process necessary to open and expand a small business in Raleigh.
II. Establish a Small Business Commission
A nine member Commission made up of small business owners and those who assist small businesses. Their charge will include identifying issues, challenges, and problems facing small business in dealing with the City, to mentor prospective small business, and give direction to the City’s Small Business Office.
III. Engage Citizens and Coordinate Private Small Business Assistance.
Some of the smartest people in the world have chosen to make Raleigh their home, and we have a number of non profit organizations dedicated to assisting small business. The City should do more to engage the enormous talent we have here and help coordinate all the private assistance available to small businesses.