Thursday, March 22, 2007 - 6:10am
Madison - As the City of Madison holds its second small business conference today, progress is being made on initiatives to assist that segment of the local economy, according to Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
At Tuesday night's Common Council, two measures benefiting Madison's small businesses were formally introduced for consideration:
• "Buy Local": This proposal would establish a city government purchasing preference for goods and services provided by local businesses, and is expected to help local small businesses in particular. Local purchasing benefits the local economy because that money recirculates and is reinvested in the community. In addition to the mayor, the proposal is co-sponsored by Alders Austin King and Larry Palm.
• Small Employer Bus Program: A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued for this program which would extend the Metro Transit unlimited ride bus pass program for large employers to small businesses as well. This program not only provides a benefit to employees, it also increases ridership and revenue for Metro, strengthens the City's transportation infrastructure, and has a positive impact on the environment by reducing automobile use. The proposal is co-sponsored by Alders Noel Radomski and Ken Golden.
"Small businesses play a vital role in Madison's economy, and we are making progress on creating policies that will help them grow and succeed," said Mayor Cieslewicz. "We have one of the best economies in the nation, but it will only remain that way if we continue to find ways to support our local small businesses."
Both proposals were part of the economic development agenda announced by the mayor last fall which was endorsed by Council President Austin King, Economic Development Commission Chair Mark Bugher, and a diverse range of local business leaders. The proposals now go to committee for review before final action is taken by the Common Council.
- George Twigg(608) 266-4611