1. Tell us about the last 3 purchases you made at locally owned, independent businesses.
I’ve been pretty busy on the campaign trail for the last several months so most of my purchases involve campaign related items – forgive me if they seem a little narrow, but at least they’re all done at independent businesses. Last 3 purchases: Dale Rand Printing on Washington Avenue, Becky’s Diner for lunch (a right of passage for all candidates) and I conduct the bulk of my meetings at either Bard Coffee / Katie Made / Arabica / CBD on Washington Ave.
2. What do you think are the most important resources or programs available to independent businesses in Portland?
The Downtown Corp. loans are underutilized and need to be better marketed to small businesses and those wishing to start a small business in Portland. My plan calls for helping stimulate immigrant-owned businesses in the city by targeting these funds better. Check out my website for more on this, I also received the endorsement from the Portland Phoenix for this particular part of my economic development plan.
3. Are there any policies or initiatives you think the city should adopt to better support local businesses?
I was a leading consultant on the anti-Wal Mart campaign in Damariscotta, ME back in 2006. We successfully kept them out by imposing a size-cap of 35,000 square feet on all commercial buildings. This was voted on locally and therefore had the consent of local tax payers. I would consider something along these lines, with exceptions, to be voted on locally as well.
4. Do you think the city should move its bank accounts out of large national banks and into locally owned financial institutions?
I bank at Bangor Savings Bank, it’s a refreshing change coming from one of the larger banks. I would support shifting some money into smaller, local banks and credit unions. This could have a positive effect on helping shape better lending practices for first time buyers and business start-ups. However, I don’t believe we need to divest all the City’s money into a small bank – larger banks have their place, too.
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