Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bristol Economic Development Commission is Active

Below is a list of the accomplishments of the Bristol Economic Development Commission.
The Business Round Table meeting they held last week with Keith Stokes was vibrant, informative, fast paced and extremely important for the economy of Bristol and for members of Bristol's business community to be heard and helped by the RI EDC headed by Keith Stokes. It was good to see all members of the Bristol Town Council in attendance as well as neighboring Economic Development Commission support and representatives from Portsmouth and Warren RI. The following is a quotation by Teddy Roosevelt sited by Mike Hudner of Bristol's B and H Shipping who participated in the forum.

"Do what you can,
With what you have,
Where you are."

The Bristol EDC mission statement is as follows:
"To provide a stable and diversified local economy by providing
support and resources to existing businesses and attracting new
business to Bristol."

Members of the Bristol Economic Commission are:

Keith Maloney - Chairman
Mike Byrnes - Vice Chairman
Gina Macdonald - Secretary
Mark Astrella - Member
Adam McGovern - Member
Andy Tyska -Member
Patricia Woods - Member
Peter Ferreira - 1st Alternate
Open - 2nd Alternate

Bristol Economic Development Commission

➢ Initiated a business development program, the “Building Bridges” campaign, to enhance relations between Bristol’s DBMA businesses and RWU students, parents, faculty and staff (potentially 12,000 people) and achieving significant collaboration between the DBMA and RWU during specifically designated “Blue & Gold” Weekends during the academic year.

➢ Developed and executed the 1st Annual Bristol Business Owner’s Roundtable Discussion with Keith Stokes, Rhode Island EDC Executive Director; six business owners presented challenges they encounter and stated the support they need on the state and local level to help their businesses grow and succeed; priorities have been established and the BEDC will partner with RIEDC in pursuit of these objectives

➢ Developed, executed and analyzed a Business Owner Survey in Fall 2009 to identify opportunities to improve Bristol as a more “business friendly” community and to identify priorities for future BEDC focus

➢ Recommended revisions to the Town Zoning Ordinance to simplify and speed the signage permitting process which were adopted by the Town Council on March 31, 2010

➢ Developed, in conjunction with the Community Development Department, simplified flowcharts to guide business owners through the permitting process, as well as simplified guidelines (“blue brochure”) for opening or expanding a business in Bristol and posted both on the Town website

➢ Developed and executed a Community Business Recognition Program in partnership with East Bay Newspapers and the Warren Economic Development Commission; awards to be made three (3) times a year.

➢ Developed content and format for an EDC website that will be linked to the Town of Bristol’s website; proposal has been approved by the Town Administrator and design and implementation in process

➢ Initiated business “outreach” program to include welcoming new business owners and conducting interviews with current business owners to discuss suggestions regarding improving Bristol as a place to do business

➢ Supported and participated in the successful planning and execution of the 1st Annual Bristol “Snowflake Raffle” in support of the DBMA during the 2009 holiday season

➢ Made recommendations to update the Tangible’s Tax Form to obtain necessary electronic contact information (email address, web address, etc.) for future communication

➢ Developed and implemented a Beginner Level Computer class at the Rogers Free Library; plan to work with the Library Board and staff to build on this opportunity to assist Bristol residents develop these skills

➢ Created Business Owner Database of 600+ names & addresses combining the resources of the Town’s Tangible List, as well as the East Bay Chamber and DBMA membership lists; edited out duplicate listings and defunct businesses

➢ Completed Economic Development Assessment in conjunction with the Center for Urban and Regional Policy (CURP) at Northeastern University with a Statewide Planning Grant which will be used in the development of an Economic Development Plan for Bristol

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