1. Tell us about the last 3 purchases you made at locally owned, independent businesses.
Just about every day I buy something from one of Portland’s many local businesses. Most recently, I purchased fresh fruit from Rosemont Market, my campaign printed literature at Dale Rand Printing and I had lunch on Wednesday at Aurora Provisions. Clearly, what sets Portland’s local merchants apart is that they consistently deliver an outstanding product. But the benefit goes beyond the products or services. The fact that local business owners and employees are so involved in the community plays a big part in making Portland the great city that it is today.
2. What do you think are the most important resources or programs available to independent businesses in Portland?
One very good resource is the Portland Development Corporation. Since it was created, the PDC has provided businesses with more than $5.5 million in assistance and helped create or retain 5,300 jobs. The city’s Economic Development Division as a whole does a good job providing consultation to local businesses at all stage of development, from start ups to established companies.
3. Are there any policies or initiatives you think the city should adopt to better support local businesses?
I will make it easier for all businesses to create jobs. We do that by making permits and applications available online, making certain projects subject to same day approval and making customer service our highest priority. Portland must maintain its rigorous safety and environmental standards; however, that does not mean that their implementation needs to be cumbersome to business owners and city staff. I would create a model that gives businesses an opportunity to correct minor deficiencies that do not pose a risk to the public or employees rather than delay a project or prevent a local business from opening.
4. Do you think the city should move its bank accounts out of large national banks and into locally owned financial institutions?
This is an interesting idea. It is important that City Hall remain a good steward of taxpayer money. This is as true in our banking as it is in our spending. As with anything, we should look at what institution can provide the greatest level of benefit to the citizens.
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