Chris Vail

Chris Vail
www.vailformayor.com

1. Tell us about the last 3 purchases you made at locally owned, independent businesses.

I have been cerating some great Vail for Mayor signs at Dale Rand Printing.  My wife and I purchase fresh produce from our local farmers markets regularly.  I am a fan of our local breweries and have made the transition (begrudgingly!!) from their summer brews to the fall favorites.

2. What do you think are the most important resources or programs available to independent businesses in Portland?

I beleive this to be part of Portland’s problem, promoting resources and programs.  We need to remember at city hall that we are a customer service center.  I was brought up in the service indusrtry to recognize the customer is first.  We need to ask the tough questions of our current small business and use the tools and constructive criticism to the benefit of our future partners is business.  And we need to reach out and ask what we can do better to provide higher profitability and efficiency with our current businesses.

3. Are there any policies or initiatives you think the city should adopt to better support local businesses?

I think we need to take a long look at our land use and building policies.  We cannot have city hall be a buidling where progress comes to a halt.  We need to streamline procedures and educate and empower our city staff to allow for decision making.  We need to promote progress and encourage movement, without the stagnancy of more governmental red tape.

4. Do you think the city should move its bank accounts out of large national banks and into locally owned financial institutions?

I think we should put our money into locally owned credit unions and financial institutions.  I think city hall has talked the local idea but they do not act locally.  I think we need to walk the walk and promote from within, before we reach across our region and country to invite business into our great city.  I hate to see a Starbucks at out port of entry at PWM and not one of our local coffee houses.  I hated to see the art work on Fore Street invisioned by someone from out of city/state, instead of one of our own spectacular artists.  We need my homegrown common sense in city hall, because together we can accomplish some local, common sense solutions.

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