Chamber of Commerce suggests business-friendly ideas to city leaders

May 6, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. May 6, 2010

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders recommended business-friendly policies to City Council members last week, as the elected officials set goals for 2011.

Chamber members urged the council to add information about the economic impact of ordinances to proposed legislation, determine the barriers to opening a business in Issaquah, conduct annual regulatory reviews to keep city codes up to date and implement the Economic Vitality Plan — a set of proposals meant to make Issaquah friendlier to businesses.

The chamber asked the city to examine the municipal Sign Code for changes to make the rules more palatable to business owners.

“As we enter into economic recovery, it is critical that we are focused on ways in which we can support our businesses and ensure they are successful” chamber CEO Matt Bott said in a news release.

During a daylong goal-setting retreat May 1, council members wove elements of the chamber proposals into milestones for next year. The council might add the economic impact item to proposed legislation, and a plan to determine the opportunities and hurdles Issaquah faces in the hunt for new businesses attracted support as well.

City staffers will winnow the goal list proposed by council members into a final stack of goals for the full council to approve next month.

The council included similar economic-development language in the list of 2010 goals.

“Everything we do in Issaquah, from services, parks, police and public safety, arts promotion, community promotion and quality of life, comes down to the tax receipts and general commerce flow the city receives from the businesses who have chosen to operate here,” Bott said.

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