Our small businesses are what make our Boulder business community vibrant and diverse. With the pandemic behind us, we need to actively encourage new and existing businesses to invest in Boulder by providing safe and welcoming public spaces and making it easier to operate here.
As a city council member, I will prioritize the following efforts:
Safety for Downtown Businesses
The businesses and workers in our downtown spaces have become frequent targets of crime with regular reports of property damage and threatening behavior. While the city grapples with appropriate solutions to address the root causes for this escalation, law enforcement must create meaningful and enforceable consequences to deter this illegal activity and ensure the security of these important commercial zones.
Streamlined Permitting Process
It is hard enough to run your own business, let alone try to navigate the bureaucracy of city permitting. With all of the post-pandemic turnovers in retail businesses, we need efficient planning processes that facilitate a quick redeployment of our vacant storefronts. The Use Review process, while an important planning step, needs to be revamped to provide a fast-track option for existing retail transitions. Staffing levels at the Planning Department need to be restored to pre-pandemic levels and a reasonable service-level commitment on turnaround times should be instituted to provide greater transparency in the process.
Expanded Public Transit Options
Many of our small-business workforce live outside of Boulder and commute here regularly. While the City is actively pursuing affordable housing solutions that would enable more workers to live in Boulder, we also need to expand and improve our local and regional bus transit services to allow for more reliable and accessible commute options. Providing more incentives for participation in the Business EcoPass program would also be a valuable employee recruitment tool and would further encourage eco-friendly commuting.