Councilor Wants Small Biz Push

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Raleigh City Councilor Nancy McFarlane proposed a new small business initiative at Tuesday’s council meeting. The proposal would put a “point of contact” within the city government for small business assistance and create a small business commission.

“I really think that it’s something that the city needs to be seen as an advocate for,” McFarlane said, referring to creating new small businesses in the city.

“We are looking at having as many at 8,000 unemployed state workers in the area, and I think a lot of them may be looking, maybe this is their time, they are going to try to open that business,” McFarlane said.

The proposal has three components:

  • Establishing a small business office within city government to serve as a “single point of contact” for small business owners
  • Establish a nine-member commission made up of small business owners
  • Engage citizens and coordinate private small business assistance

McFarlane said it was important to support small business, especially with the state of the current economy.

“I think that coming out of the recession, it’s going to be on the back of small business, and I think we need to do what we can to help,” she said.

Bonds on the Ballot
Raleigh City Councilors approved a couple of changes to two new bonds facing voters this fall. One would add $3 million to the already approved transportation bond to pay for the proposed downtown train station. The other adds $400,000 for tornado relief for underinsured homes.

The bonds will be on the Oct. 11 ballot.

Marathon Debate
The City Council’s Law and Public Safety Committee tried to push route issues with the City of Oaks Marathon to the full council, but council members sent the question back to committee this week.

The committee originally requested that a lane on Hillsborough Street remain open at all times to allow traffic to pass in the area around the fairgrounds, but Councilor Mary Ann Baldwin said it needed to be amended to after 10 a.m. due to safety issues brought up by the police department.

Councilor John Odom said this wasn’t the deal struck in committee. He wants the lane open all day.

Councilors sent the question back to the committee. The marathon will be held as usual in November.

Raleigh’s Creative District
Councilors approved a new economic development initiative for southwest Raleigh. The program, in association with North Carolina State University, will be a rebranding initiative to attract new businesses to areas around the university. Read all about the creative district here.

Continuing Parking Safety Patrol
Councilors approved a contract with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to resume providing security services at downtown parking areas and decks. The contract, at a cost of $367,042.80, pays for security at six decks and four lots.

Climate and Energy Action Plan
Councilors also approved a contract with CH2MHill to develop a Climate and Energy Action Plan for the city.  The plan would help the city to reduce fossil fuel emissions and increase energy efficiency in its operations.

The contract costs $223,300 and is funded by an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant from the federal government.

Solid Waste Facility Seeks LEED Platinum Rating
The Council approved the selection of Sundance Power to set up a 12.5 percent solar photovolatic system at the Wilders Grove Solid Waste Facility. The system would help the facility reach a LEED Platinum rating. The cost for the project is $380,747.

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