Email your letter to letters@valleyrecord.com. File photo

Email your letter to letters@valleyrecord.com. File photo

City seeks to improve economic health of North Bend | Letter

We are planning our first breakfast meeting for May 17 at Umpqua Bank.

The city of North Bend, through the Community & Economic Development Department is reaching out to the business community and commercial property owners to establish a line of communication to improve economic development in the city. We are very interested in forming partnerships to improve the economic health of North Bend. This process is a two-way street as is any partnership. We would like to begin this economic development initiative with a series of morning breakfast meetings to develop new initiatives to enable a smoother process in permitting for projects that increase the economic base of the community and continue to beautify our commercial districts and promote the fantastic outdoor lifestyle that we all enjoy.

We are planning our first breakfast meeting for May 17, Thursday morning at Umpqua Bank. There will be light refreshments and coffee available and the initial meeting will be a meet and greet with some initial discussion of directions for the future to better serve you and your business and property development issues. We would like to hold these meetings once a month to keep the business community informed about City initiatives and, hopefully, to begin some new initiatives that serve the interests of the business community and the city to improve our relationships and create a better business environment.

By way of background the city is commissioning a retail leakage study that also has a good foundation of information on our current economic base and points out where we have the capacity to absorb new retail and service establishments. This study will begin in June 2018 and be completed in late fall 2018 and will include conversations with existing business owners and citizens.

In addition to the retail leakage study, the city has several avenues for you as business and property owners to promote business development. We have an Economic Development Manager, Lynn Hyde, who has promoted several initiatives in our downtown, resulting in reduced impact fees for commercial development and a higher level of permit assistance to those projects that have a demonstrative positive economic influence on the City’s future. Lynn is also coordinating with the leaders in a business incubator center for the Snoqualmie Valley, coordinating historic building façade improvement grants, applying for several grants to increase recreational amenities in the City and several other effective efforts to promote business. We also have an Economic Development Committee that advises the City Council on economic development initiatives. Our staff has some extensive experience with assisting in job and

business development and we are concerned about developing a positive image of the city as an economic development partner.

Joining us in the new venture is Rob McFarland, planning commissioner, who has been instrumental in organizing several of you to participate with us, and Rob Wooten from Umpqua Bank who has been gracious enough to provide a place to meet.

Hope to see you there on there on May 17 and I thank you for taking the time to lead in this effort.

David E. Miller, Community & Economic Development Director

North Bend

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