Job creation: Cutting red tape/costs - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

Job creation: Cutting red tape/costs

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Sal DiCiccio

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Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:00 pm | Updated: 6:23 pm, Fri Mar 16, 2012.

Panel created to make Phoenix best city in the nation for business creation

We have been appointed to co-chair a committee for job creation by cutting the red tape and the cost of doing business in Phoenix. Our goal will be to prepare Phoenix to compete in the global market and bring back a stabilized work force to our community.

Five years ago, the entire world economy changed. Things now move faster, have more risk and are less secure. Organizations succeed in this new economy by getting their products to market first and by running their operations at strategic speed.

Business cycles that were once 11 to 15 years are now four to six years. For Phoenix to prosper in this new climate, we must understand and adapt to these new changes. Our competitors are no longer Valley cities, but those from all over the globe.

These are surely tough times. We must be better prepared to deal with this new economy. We must create bold new models that allow us to take advantage of these changes.

The mayor and Phoenix City Council have put together a group of talented business leaders who will put a microscope to how we treat job creation/retention and come up with bold, modern ways to streamline our operations to significantly reduce the cost of doing business in Phoenix.

We can no longer accept being better. We can no longer accept being one of the best. We must be known as the best place in the nation in which to do business. We will be looking at how we can do a better job at keeping job creators and how we can encourage and attract more job growth across our city.

Same-day permitting

The focus will be on same-day permitting - being able to walk right up to the counter and get a permit that very same day. Or, better yet, pushing a button in your own office to send a set of plans to our city and instantaneously getting a permit.

A complicated and expensive process that currently takes weeks and often months to maneuver will now be completed in a matter of minutes. What does this do to our economy?

Instead of taking months to create jobs, it puts job creation in hyper drive, allowing business to start up and to hire today.

It will significantly encourage more entrants willing and able to take a risk opening a new business, creating jobs and sales tax revenue today, while returning stability to our budget and restoring cuts made to our seniors and kids and to our libraries.

Think of the message we will send to companies around the country and the globe: Phoenix has gone beyond cutting red tape to eliminating it. As other communities around the country are making it tougher to do business, we will make it easier.

Corporate relocations, from manufacturing plants to data centers, are being decided on financial risk, on whether they can get their products to market quickly and the overall business climate of their new home. Potential small business owners facing thousands of dollars in fees and multiple other added costs associated with delays will now be more capable of assuming less risk to open that coffee or yogurt shop in that vacant space at your neighborhood center.

Small businesses in particular will reduce the risk of opening their own "American Dream." In the economic reality of today, small business owners no longer have the luxury of pulling money from their home equity to start a new venture.

If we significantly reduce their burden by saving them money and time, you will see more people willing to take the risk of opening a business in Phoenix.

The hurdles of designing the best job creation model in the nation are significant. But the end result for our city will be even more significant, and much better for businesses, taxpayers and the city's fiscal future.

• Councilman Sal DiCiccio represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills, Arcadia, Biltmore, East Camelback and North Phoenix. Reach him at council.district.6@phoenix.gov or (602) 262-7491. District 4 Councilman Tom Simplot can be reached at council.district.4@phoenix.gov or (602) 262-7447.

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