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Minutes

Business Development Commission

 

 

Meeting Date:

February 25, 2010

Meeting Called to Order:

4:00 p.m.

Meeting Adjourned:

5:19 p.m.

Next Meeting Date:

March 17 March 25, 2010

 

1.  Call to Order

2.  Roll Call

 

Name

Present

Absent

Greg Bratcher

X

 

Charlie Downs

X

 

Diane Drollinger

4:15

 

Diane Lamboley

X

 

Lee Moss

X

 

Chalegne O’Brien

X

 

Aimee Rich

 

X

Patricia Richards

X

 

Kimberly White

 

X

 

 

Also Present

Present

Absent

Mayor Gerry Welch – Council Liaison

X

 

Steve Wylie – City Manager

 

X

Roger Grow – Staff Liaison

X

 

                                                

3.  Review & Approval of Minutes – February 4, 2010

 

A Motion was made by:

Richards

The Motion Seconded by:

Downs

 

   Motion to approve as presented.

 

Ayes:

6

Noes:

0

Abstain:

0

Absent:

3

 

MOTION APPROVED:

Yes:       X

No:

 

4.  Planning for 2010

 

The BDC reviewed the charge of the commission as given in ordinance 8552.  It is to provide a coordinate effort to advance the commercial and industrial sectors by:

 

  1. identifying opportunities to add new businesses,
  2. find ways to enrich existing businesses
  3. fostering the commercial tax base
  4. expanding the potential of mini-districts
  5. better connecting the business community to City Hall
  6. recommending policies that encourage business location here
  7. welcoming businesses to the City, including small home-based businesses

 

Comments about these included: #3 fostering commercial tax base is a byproduct of others; #1 will be difficult under current economic conditions; #5 is a need simple to follow steps for opening a business in the City.

 

The BDC identified the following issues and needs related to the BDC charge.

 

§         A need for simple steps to follow for opening a business in the City

§         A need for information regarding available commercial space in the City        

§         A need to increase marketing of businesses

§         Ribbon cuttings are left to the Chamber of Commerce and often don’t occur

§         Potential  businesses owners need help in opening a business

§         Dealing with landlords poses many problems

§         City inspectors are unfriendly

§         No business ombudsman exists to help businesses through regulations

§         Nonretail businesses can be/are ignored with attention to retail businesses

 

The following goals and actions were identified.

 

Goal:  Provide all necessary information about opening a business in Webster Groves in one document available on the web as well as on paper.

Action:  Roger Grow will compile this document with in coordination with the BDC.

 

Goal:  Use a survey instrument such as Survey Monkey to identify key needs of businesses.

Action:  To be discussed.

 

Goal:  Create twice-yearly forums for businesses to network and provide input about key business needs and issues

            Action:  To be discussed; Rich and Downs will work on this.

 

Goal:  Create a corps of retired business persons to provide assistance to local businesses

            Action: To be discussed.

 

Future meetings to focus on:

  • Recruitment
  • Art as a business attractor
  • Service providers

 

 

 

5.  Next Meeting (March 25)

 

NOTE: DUE TO SPRING BREAK, NEW MEETING DATE:   WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17

 

6.  Adjournment  5:19 p.m.