The councilman said he felt the time was opportune for such a task force since the city recently hired two business recruiters for its development department. The planned opening of the Americana Center has also raised concern about the future of small business, he said. “When the Galleria opened, it had a big impact on Brand Boulevard.”
Drayman said people have asked him if business recruiting isn’t the job of chambers of commerce. “It really isn’t,” he said. Instead, this task force would be a permanent body, advising the city on small business issues.
The councilman said an example of a city action that damaged business was the protracted repair of Brand Boulevard, which caused access and parking problems for many businesses.
He said the group could become a city commission, but initially he would like to see it be more of an outreach effort to the city. “We don’t have to spend all our time on the dais, waiting for problems to come to us.”
Drayman said the group would not need a revenue stream to operate, such as imposition of a business license fee, as some have suggested.