Mayoral candidate Kim White has announced her three-pronged plan to revitalize Chattanooga’s business community. The policy, anchored by economic growth and job creation, includes supporting existing small businesses, recruiting new businesses to the Chattanooga region and providing the resources businesses of all sizes need to expand.
"For Chattanooga to prosper, we must be able to offer the necessary amenities to start and grow businesses," said Ms.
White. "Our business community is the engine that propels us forward and creates new opportunities for all to succeed. My administration will be dedicated to lifting up all who are starting and doing business in our city."
To streamline policies, create open communication and eliminate barriers that can make it difficult to launch or grow a business in Chattanooga, she said her administration would create the Office of Small Business Support. White will regularly meet with business owners and neighbors in every district to help overcome the challenges they collectively face and identify the resources needed to expand.
This office will also connect entrepreneurs and established business owners to other public and private agencies for resources and assistance, particularly as they face financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. She will also leverage all federal, state and local resources to assist in pandemic recovery, it was stated.
In addition, this office will connect business owners to ample available commercial real estate throughout the city’s main corridors. This plan will help new and established businesses occupy previously unused space in existing storefronts, office buildings and other mixed-use properties.
Ms. White said she would utilize her past experience bringing $1.2 billion of new investment to Chattanooga in her approach to supporting a vibrant business sector through recruitment and expansion. She will partner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Hamilton County officials and all surrounding cities to target companies that are considering the greater Chattanooga region for relocation or expansion.
In addition, she will coordinate with educational leaders to ensure our city can provide workforce development training for individuals in existing and new jobs as the economy evolves. She will remain an involved partner with UTC and Chattanooga State, which will provide necessary education and training for residents in the greater Chattanooga area. White will also make sure those who seek education and training have easy access to high quality jobs upon completion of his or her qualifications.
In addition to workforce development and educational opportunities, White will work closely with both public and private partners to provide other resources that will help businesses and industries, and their employees, thrive.
Ms. White said she "deeply believes all businesses, regardless of size, must have the resources they need to be successful. She will continually seek feedback from the business community about how city policies and procedures affect them." She said she would also focus on removing unnecessary burdens on business owners who are working with various departments across city government.
"My administration will strongly advocate for and support our business community," said Ms. White. "My goal is to help create a city where any resident can see themselves starting or growing a business, large or small."