Comment 51243

By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted November 07, 2010 at 12:08:36

How about a liaison office at city hall for start-ups of small and medium sized businesses. I'm not talking about a center to pick-up pamphlets and send the entrepreneur off to manage the maze on their own. I envision a group in the city whose job it is is to actively manage a start-up through the maze of red-tape, roadblocks and hazards. Here's how it could work:

-Offer the start-up the service and encourage them to register for the program

-Once registered a Liaison Officer is assigned to that project

-The officer meets with the entrepreneur and determines exactly what permits, licenses, documentation and approvals are required from the city and even the Provence for the project to go ahead

-A report is prepared for the entrepreneur giving the time line and budget needed to obtain the approvals etc. required before the opening date. The person can now decide if they have the funding and time required to proceed. It is at this point they learn whether their idea is feasible or affordable. There could be some unexpected issues that they learn about.

-The assigned officer is now the person responsible to ensure that those requirements materialize. The officer will obviously have to work very closely with the start-up to obtain any money required for any permits, inspections or anything else. The idea is that the officer is a one-stop shopping point for the start-up, no running to this department then that department

-The officer will have to have broad knowledge of the city bureaucracy and various codes such as health, fire and building. If it is decided that the city will assist with Provincial issues the person will have to be versed on those as well. City staffers will be directed to give the officers priority when approached for any direction and opinions for the start-up

-The idea is to have everything for the entrepreneur in place to ensure his/her success.

-A good qualification for this position could be someone who has started a business here in Hamilton before

-The officer is to be the start-ups spearhead, cutting through and managing the red-tape monster while being an advocate and mentor. The officer will have to be passionate about enabling the success of others and be relentless in getting the answers and commitments needed

-The officer will manage city issues such as scheduling health department inspections, fire inspections and building department inspections

This one stop shopping concept will allow start-ups to learn if an plan is feasible before any property is purchased or leased. If an idea proves feasible the person now understands the costs needed to proceed with permits. Building, health and fire should be co-ordinated at this point to provide opinions if the property is already under the owners care. Now the person understands what renovations are required and can proceed to get any estimates needed. All of this is to make things happen quickly and painlessly for a small to medium sized business.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2010-11-07 11:11:51

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