Saturday, January 02, 2016

Chamber Supports Positive City Actions

CHAMBER RESPONDS TO CITY ACTIONS

As 2015 wound down, there seems to have been a drive to get business done at City Hall. In the past few weeks, some Council decisions and executive actions urged the Chamber of Commerce to respond.

The Chamber applauds the expanded “starting point’ for Food Truck culture in Nanaimo under new, easier-to-meet regulations and clear policies. This is an important win for the Chamber’s lobbying efforts. We enjoyed a productive collaboration by providing our independent research results, sharing data collected from Chambers in other communities, and in developing a connection to stakeholders. The Chamber looks forward to the first year of these new policies in action and is planning Nanaimo’s Food Truck Festival in early spring 2016.

The Chamber has been encouraging a Core Service Review for many years, so we’re supportive of the recent announcement of engagement and a timeline. Given that almost every Council and Mayoral candidate promoted a Review in their 2014 campaigns, we hope that the time it took to start the process now pays off. We’re also appreciative that deliverables are demanded soon and that action should follow in a timely fashion.

Nanaimo City Council gave final reading to the city’s provisional 2016 Budget and five-year financial plan on Wednesday, December 16. The budget features a zero percent increase in property taxes for residents, businesses and industry. Other highlights include a near million-dollar investment in asset management, modest user fee increases, and greater consideration for future operational efficiencies.

Actions by the City’s new CAO to trim staffing costs are welcomed by the business community,” according to Kim Smythe, CEO & President, “we look forward to a continuing plan of action to move Nanaimo forward in the most cost-effective and efficient manner over a long term.

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