Gilbert starts program to help small businesses open - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Gilbert starts program to help small businesses open

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Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014 10:00 am

Starting a new business is often stressful for owners, but with the help from a support team, opening a small business in Gilbert has become much simpler.

Gilbert’s Development Services Department officially launched a new program called Taking Care of Small Business (TCSB) on July 7. The program provides free support to emerging small businesses in Gilbert with the purpose of navigating the town’s planning, permitting and licensing process in assistance of starting a business.

“As Gilbert continues to grow, so do the number of small businesses,” says Development Services Director Kyle Mieras in a statement. “The goal of the Taking Care of Small Business program is to provide free assistance and support to small-business owners as they begin their journey of opening a new business in Gilbert.”

The Taking Care of Small Business program is a four-step process that begins with a person interested in opening a business. He or she will contact the TCSB team coordinator, who relays the details to other team members. The TCSB team then accumulates a packet of information, including applications and a checklist for the customers, saving them a lot of time and effort.

“A small business often has less expertise and fewer resources to draw upon when it comes to opening or expanding its business and navigating our processes for doing so,” said Gilbert Town Manager Patrick Banger. “Along with our many advocacy partners, we are continually working on ways in which we can streamline our systems and assist our small-business owners to be successful as quickly as possible.”

The TCSB coordinator contacts the customer and schedules a meeting with the rest of the team. Owners can include their contractor, engineer, planner and architect at the meeting. The team will then follow up with a response letter to the customer.

“The new approach is just one more thing Gilbert is doing to enable a smooth interaction with businesses to minimize potential misunderstandings and save precious time and money,” said Gilbert Town Councilmember Ben Cooper.

Cooper has extensive experience with economic development. He served on the Gilbert Economic Development Advisory Board for six years and spent six years with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council attracting businesses to the Valley.

Small businesses of every nature are eligible for assistance from the TCSB team.

Cooper said the program recognizes that business owners would rather focus on their new businesses instead of worrying about navigating the government processes.

“For small-business owners like me, time is money. The sooner we can open our businesses, the sooner we can begin earning a return on the significant capital and effort it takes to get started,” he said.

For more information on the Taking care of Small Business program or to participate, visit www.gilbertaz.gov/TCSB or call Gilbert’s Development Services Department at (480) 503-6719.

• Brittney Daigneau is a senior at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an intern at the Tribune this semester. Reach her at tribintern@evtrib.com.

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