Business Retention and Expansion

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The city of Eudora is working towards trying to develop more businesses in Eudora.  The city has taken multiple steps in recent weeks and months to not only bring more businesses to town but also look at helping those currently here.

The city, along with the Eudora Chamber of Commerce, recently completed a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey.  This survey, a year and half in the making, was compiled from information obtained in interviews with many of the current business owners in the community.  The survey noted many perceived barriers for businesses such as rising taxes, city building codes being too restrictive and lack of community support of local businesses.  This survey was completed to act as a benchmark for future surveys and other BRE efforts in the future.

City Officials  also recently conducted a town hall meeting for downtown business owners. This meeting was to identify what problems faced by business owners.  Again, many of the problems mentioned in the survey were again brought up during this meeting. One other problem that was identified, was snow removal from the streets in the first major snow of 2011. Many business owners had complaints that snow was pushed onto the sidewalks from the streets and thereby effectively blocking entrance to many of the shops and business on Main Street.

In response to the many complaints about snow removal, the city did take action with the foot of snow that fell a week later and changed how they handled snow removal. Many of the business owners downtown, reported that they were pleased with the cities efforts. City Administrator John Harrenstein made personal visits to many of the shop owners after the snow fell, to see how they felt about the changes in snow removal.

Additionally, the city has taken the step of beginning a search for a Management Analyst/Community Development Coordinator.  This new created position will work for the City of Eudora and will assist the Chamber of Commerce to help develop commercial and industrial project development in the city and work with the current businesses and public groups. This person will also be expected to work on obtaining grants.  The city has stated they hope to conduct interviews for this position in March.

Many business owners like the steps that have been taken so far. We talked to several of the downtown merchants and many stated that the efforts are definitely a step in the right direction.

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