Mayor Brennan Unveils Economic Development Initiatives to Improve Local Business Climate; Focuses on Companies with “Growth” Potential

Jared A. Clark, Consultant, May be Reached at jared1007@maine.rr.com

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,137)

Mayor Michael Brennan announced this afternoon that he and several consultants along with Greg Mitchell, city’s economic deveopment chair, have already started implementing several programs designed to spur economic growth and create jobs in Portland. The programs support the goals of the city’s Economic Development Vision and Plan, adopted by the City Council last fall.

Intermed was chosen as the location for the press conference because it was the first participant in the Business Visitation Program. It is intended to help the city retain local businesses and support efforts to expand. Feedback will be used to adjust economic strategies and activities and through this outreach, local businesses will become better informed of resources and opportunities available at City Hall. One visit a week to a business is planned – with a hope of visiting 40 businesses by the end of the year. The method by which businesses will be chosen has yet to be decided upon.

The Mayor also announced he wants to streamline the city’s permitting process. However, he didn’t go into anymore specifics other than to say that Jared A. Clark, Government Consulting Group has been retained to improve and streamline this process. Dr. Charles Colgan, USM economics professor, has been retained as well as a consultant on the project. The two will be compensated a total of $15,000. for their consulting work.

These efforts will apply to companies with growth and expansion potential. No final report will be filed with anyone and there is no time frame involved according to the Mayor; it’s an open ended project with no ending.