I’m not the development authority, yet in the last month, three businesses have come to me asking for help, because the city just doesn’t seem to want to talk sensibly. We’ve had a “One Stop” permitting center for years, but now, we have the new and improved “Dayton Business Resource Center”
On Monday, Feb. 9, the Dayton Business Resource Center, a one-stop shop for business location and expansion services in the city, opened at 371 W. Second St.
“In today’s difficult economic climate, it’s more important than ever to help businesses compete and grow,” said Shelley Dickstein, assistant city manager for strategic development.
The center is a collaborative effort between the city, Montgomery County, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Citywide Development Corporation and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce….
The 2,300 square feet of newly renovated space brings together the serves of several agencies under one roof to provide help with permits, plan review, zoning guidance, financing and incentive information, site seeking and other services.
Last night I wrote about the proposed ice arena for Downtown- and guess what, no Dayton economic development people, or the County economic development people were involved in this major proposal for “Economic Development.” In fact, when the county people were approached about their involvement in the Austin Road proposed ice arena, in a project that has been grinding away for over 12 years- they said the rink was only a new development in the last year – and they weren’t supporting it (even though we published the “talking points memo” that wasn’t supposed to go public).
The reality is, it’s not just Dayton, or the suburbs, but the entire State of Ohio that needs some simplified processes for starting and supporting businesses. Instead of building new office spaces, how about a simplified tax collection website at the State level where all State and local taxes are managed based on your EIN?
How about modifications to the building code to allow for easier re-use of old buildings for new purposes?
How about a standardized system of tax breaks for business based on forward thinking initiatives like the number of employees that can walk to work, instead of the current inequitable system that forces communities to compete to give away tax revenue to big business for jobs that aren’t guaranteed?
How about focusing on providing the essential basic services like snow removal- before trying to promote even more businesses that people won’t be able to shop at because you can’t pay a snow plow driver?
Common sense seems hard to come by in Dayton.
Maybe we need a Common Sense Training program instead of a County based diet workshop?
Maybe instead of voting for political hacks, with cushy patronage jobs (Nan Whaley and Matt Joseph both worked for the County in patronage jobs when elected) Dayton voters might start waking up to why they have a commission that insists on making a mockery of the City Manager form of government (even though we “invented it here”).
It’s time to take government out of “economic development” and focus on providing service. Business will find its way here, if it could only drive down the street a week after an ice storm without going sideways.