Mayor Wayne Stetski said Cranbrook is a good place to do business.
So far this year there have been 52 business licence applications for the city, on top of the city’s almost 1,376 currently issued business licences.
“When I look at that — almost 1,400 businesses — I do think Cranbrook is a good place to do business,” Stetski said. “The objective is to make it a great place to do business.”
He said when the city started the Barriers to Business initiative with the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce, he asked if the chamber could help define what some of the barriers to business were in Cranbrook. Stetski said the goal from the city’s end was to make changes and make things better.
“I really appreciate that the chamber went out and took that challenge seriously,” he said. “They went out and surveyed their members and came up with the first Barriers to Business report.”
From that there were 14 individual initiatives identified that would help make it easier to do business in Cranbrook. A progress report came out in April 2014.
Stetski said the city is committed to completing all of these initiatives within the timeline laid out.
“Most of them will be done by the end of December this year,” he said.
Since January Stetski said that every new business licence application they receive, 52 so far this year, gets a personalized thank you letter.
“They each get a letter from me thanking them for the faith that they have in Cranbrook and investing in our city,” he said.
That collaborative working effort between the city and the chamber is important to create an even better relationship with businesses, he said.
He noted that all city staff are going through customer service training.
“That’s whether you’re in public works or front line here at city hall or working a shovel; all the staff are going through enhanced customer service training between now and the fall,” he said.
Tourism is also a major focus and there will be some initiatives on this front coming in the near future, he said.
He also mentioned CityWorks which automates development tracking on projects.
“So you can go in at any time and see if there are any hold ups,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people who are putting up their business in Cranbrook to understand the process and requirements that they need to meet.”
The city also has a guide for new businesses that includes important contacts in the city.