May 16, 2012

Mayor Brennan announces new economic development initiatives for city

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Several new economic development initiatives, ranging from a business visitation program to streamlining the city’s permitting process, were introduced at a press conference in Portland this afternoon.

City officials say the initiatives, which are based on the city’s economic development plan, are designed to spur economic growth and job creation in Portland.

“For the City of Portland to realize its full potential, we need to be working in concert with one another. Whether it’s the Chamber (of Commerce) or a neighborhood group or a business just starting up, we need to realize that we share the same goals because our quality of life goes hand in hand with our economic prosperity,” Mayor Michael Brennan said, in a statement issued by the city.

Brennan said one way for the city to receive feedback from its business community is the Business Visitation Program.

Under the program, Brennan and members of the city’s economic development team will visit at least two businesses a month.

“Hearing directly from local businesses is key as this feedback helps city and community leaders better understand the needs and concerns of the business community,” Brennan said.

The mayor said he wants to streamline the city’s permitting process. The city hired a consultant to look at ways the city can make its development application and permitting processes more efficient.

Brennan also announced the launch of the Business Assistance Program for Job Creation (BAP).

The BAP program will offer grants up to $20,000 to Portland businesses for projects that spur job creation. The jobs that are created should benefit low and moderate income Portland residents.

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