David A. Marshall
1. Tell us about the last 3 purchases you made at locally owned, independent businesses.
Today I made purchases from the following local independent businesses: Wigon’s Office Supply, Curry Printing, and Kamasouptra. From Wigon’s Office Supply, I purchased colored printing paper and I brought it to Curry Printing to produce campaign literature. At Kamasouptra I purchased soup for my volunteers. Mike Jerome, the owner of Kamasouptra, donated fifty bowls of soup to my campaign. The volunteers loved the soup and now ask for it regularly so I have been purchasing lots of soup. Throughout my campaign, most of my purchases have been from local businesses.
2. What do you think are the most important resources or programs available to independent businesses in Portland?
The most important programs available to independent businesses in Portland are Portland Business Loan, Micro Business Loan, Creative Economy Loan, and Façade Improvement,. Recently the City Council created the Portland Business Loan to fill unmet needs in the marketplace, particularly for projects between $250,000 and $500,000. Also, the City Council increased the Micro and Creative Economy Loan maximums to $50,000, expanded eligible activities to include working capital, and refinancing. The Façade Improvement program has been a big success as it has helped to restore the fronts of many businesses along Congress Street.
3. Are there any policies or initiatives you think the city should adopt to better support local businesses?
The following policies and initiatives should be adopted to better support local businesses: 1. Track all applications by creating a professional management and performance system. The system would include centralized CitiStat software and database system for tracking work orders, permits, and projects. 2. Institute a Technical Advisory Committee to provide guidance to entrepreneurs during the concept development stage. The TAC would include the City Manager and any city staff members necessary to provide technical feedback. 3. Implement a business visitation program where the Mayor and city staff will meet business owners and assist with various needs.
4. Do you think the city should move its bank accounts out of large national banks and into locally owned financial institutions?
The City of Portland should utilize a locally owned financial institution. The existing accounts are with TD Bank. Originally, the City of Portland utilized People’s Heritage Bank, which was locally owned. Then People’s Heritage sold to BankNorth. Next BankNorth sold to TD bank. Personally, I also used People’s Heritage and I switched to a local credit union after the sale to TD Bank.
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