Karin's Note: June 8, 2012
-June Sustainable Tucson Meeting Featuring CM Uhlich
- Toy Train Museum Open House
- 42nd Annual Juneteenth Festival
-2nd Saturdays Downtown
- Desert Museum Hosts Saturday Nights
- Science Sundays at Children’s Museum Tucson
- Tucson Fire Department Holds Swim Safety Event
-Did you know....
JOB CREATION STRATEGIES
I was pleased with the testimony during Call to the Audience this week from Allyson Solomon of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. She stated:
“I want to express my organization and our members’ appreciation for your adoption of an application review process for the economic development incentives. It’s a great way to keep the process consistent and fair for every single project that comes across your table, and we know that the development community is going to appreciate the fact that they can predict the process before they enter into it, and we hope that it helps to attract some new development to the community.”
I helped to champion the adoption of this framework for any and all economic development incentives that will be available through the City. All businesses interested will begin with our designated point of contact, Debbie Chandler, Economic Development Coordinator in the City Manager’s office. Debbie brings a wealth of business experience, with a background in banking/finance and as the former CEO of the Microbusiness Advancement Center. The proposal and review process, laid out in this Mayor/Council agenda memo from the City Manager protects the public’s interest as well as our potential private sector partners. Process available at this link:
Far from being “anti-business”, this approach is “anti-backroom-dealing”. Taxpayers and business people alike want clarity and consistency. It’s gratifying to be able to assure fairness and accountability as we continue our work to create jobs together.
OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
I’d like to thank Mayor Rothschild and the great folks who partnered with the Mayor’s office to put on the very useful forum, “Exporting Makes Dollars and Sense” last week. One of my staff members attended, and reports that the presentations and information provided were extraordinarily useful and the turnout of local small business owners was tremendous. I’m delighted that this forum took place at our beautiful TPD West headquarters, in Ward 3 on Miracle Mile. Some highlights:
The Obama administration launched the National Export Initiative in 2010, with the explicit goal of doubling US exports by 2014. As of 2010, only 1% of all US companies were engaged in exporting their goods and services abroad, even though 95% of the planet’s population – the market for goods and services from medical equipment to tourism, from jet engines to scone mixes – lives outside our borders.
With this goal in mind, the US Department of Commerce and its US Export Assistance Center here in Tucson, are available with a range of services for our local small business owners.
Specifically, if you’re interested in exporting, the US Dept of Commerce can help you identify where it makes most sense to export your product or service, help you identify and connect with reputable international partners for distribution etc, help you create your market entry or expansion strategy, and more – at no or nominal cost to you. You can even employ their “Gold Key Service” to set up meetings for you in City X and Sector Y anywhere in the world, where they do the background checks and other due diligence to ensure you’re meeting with the right potential partners to meet your needs and help your export strategy succeed. The US Export Assistance Center, through its 100 US offices, is also organizing trade missions to locations all over the world, year-round.
Even better, their Arizona Manager has an office right here in Tucson. His name is Eric Nielson and as he said at the forum, “My job is to help Arizona businesses make sales overseas.” You can reach Eric here:
US Commerce Department
US Export Assistance Center, International Trade Administration
166 W Alameda Street
Tucson, AZ 85701
Finally, the Arizona Commerce Authority has a new program called STEP: the State Trade and Export Promotion program, run by Kevin O’Shea – a Tucsonan – and started just 5 months ago. STEP helps eligible Arizona businesses pay for the various services offered through the US Export Assistance Center, in many cases being able to reimburse enrolled businesses 100% of their costs. In the first five months of the program, 100 Arizona companies have enrolled, of which about 25% are from Southern Arizona. Want to learn more? Check out http://www.azcommerce.com/services/international-business/ and contact Kevin at 602.845.1200.
Also on a positive note, the State has removed two members of the existing Rio Nuevo Board. This provides some hope that the Board and City can finally focus on our common goals to make progress for the community.
Prior to the Board changes we had agreed on modest improvements to the Convention Center—the replacement of the bleachers and bathroom renovations. The best sign of a new era of collaboration would the completion of those projects and an agreement on the next ones to tackle. Since the Convention Center requires many upgrades and remains the central component of the legislation creating Rio Nuevo, we’d all benefit if arguments and lawsuits can be set aside in favor of concrete action.
Mayor and Council unanimously adopted the FY 2013 budget, which I have highlighted in previous notes to you. I offered a motion to hold the $400,000 line item for TREO as an economic development line item. Further discussion regarding TREO has already been placed on next Tuesday’s agenda by Vice Mayor Kozachik. From there we can affirm the allocations for economic development that will best serve Tucson. Please let me know your thoughts on this issue (as well as the Election Integrity item below) in the meantime.
Councilmembers Fimbres, Romero and I have placed a Resolution on next week’s agenda for consideration that would reaffirm Tucson’s commitment to election integrity. The Resolution outlines our history of adopting and strengthening our own clean elections system, including our May 2007 Ordinance enacting reporting requirements for Independent Campaign Committees and all of their donors.
The Resolution urges action at the federal level to address the undue influence of money in elections, intensified by the recent Supreme Court decision on Citizens United vs Federal Elections Commission. Many groups have united to challenge the notion that the Constitutional rights of individuals should be extended to corporate entities. Through the Resolution Tucson can join the growing, nationwide effort to challenge the undue influence of money on our democratic elections process.
Tucson’s got much to offer even on 100-degree days. We hope you’ll find the events and information below of interest.
Have a great weekend.
Ward 3 Events:
- Sustainable Tucson June Meeting – Monday, June 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Council Member Karin Uhlich will be a featured speaker. Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone. Free and open to the public. Discussion focuses on what community members can do to create a more vibrant and sustainable future, building partnerships and working toward common goals. More info: 820-8180.
- Tucson Toy Museum Open House – Sunday, June 10 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. 3975 N. Miller Avenue. Enjoy watching and listening to the bells and whistles of six operating toy-train layouts. Free, donations appreciated. More info: 888-2222.
-42nd Annual Juneteenth Festival – Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Donna Liggins Center, 2160 N. 6th Avenue. Live performances, dancers, Kidz zone, crafts and food vendors. More info: Sharif at 390-0155
City Wide Events:
- 2nd Saturdays Downtown – Saturday, June 9 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. Music, entertainment, street vendors, restaurants open. For more info: www.2ndSaturdaysDowntown.com.
- Desert Museum Hosts Summer Saturday Evenings – Saturday, June 9 through August 25 at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Special pricing, programs and cool evenings with nocturnal animals. More info: http://www.desertmuseum.org/
- Science Sundays at Children’s Museum Tucson – Sunday, June 10 through September 2. 200 S. Sixth Avenue. Hands-on science fun with animals, physics, math and lasers. $2 admission. More info: 792-9985.
- Tucson Fire Department Holds Swim Safety Event – Saturday, June 16 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Old Pueblo Credit Union, 9725 E. Broadway. Family oriented event will provide information on pool safety along with a free climbing wall, Eegee’s, vendors booths and drawings for pool items.
Did You Know…
…that the City of Tucson is accepting applications for home repair funds? Homeowners within the city limits needing roof repairs, heating and cooling system replacements and structural, utility or certain repairs may apply for a grant and/or deferred loan ranging from $7,500 to $12,000. Applications for the Fiscal Year 2012-2014 Tucson Annual Residential Rehabilitation (TARR) Program will be taken via a lottery system to ensure that everyone submitting an application during the application period (5/16/12 through 6/30/12) has an equal opportunity for placement on the list. Applicants must be owner of the property and reside in it as primary residence. Income limits apply and the property must be free of delinquent liens. Call 837-5336 to receive an application by mail. Applications also online at: www.tucsonaz.gov/fixhouse
…Every Sunday game of the Tucson Padres’ is Military Appreciation night! All Veterans get two “FREE” tickets with some form of I.D. All games start at 7:05pm and gates open at 6pm. Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo way, Tucson FMI call (520) 434-1367
…that Council Member Karin Uhlich is once again hosting a “Trim Your Energy Wasteline Workshop?” This is a free, 2 hour energy conservation workshop for homeowners sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, City of Tucson Ward 3 Council Office, and the Metropolitan Energy Commission. Next Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ward 3 Council Office, 1510 E. Grant Road. Space is limited so if you’d like to reserve a seat and learn how to reduce your energy bills, call Cheryl Rodgers in the Ward 3 office at 837-4231. Light refreshments will be served
…that July 1-7 is “Independents Week” across the country? Communities will celebrate by “taking the pledge” to shop and dine locally throughout the week. For more information on local businesses, check out the links below:
Local First Arizona: http://www.localfirstaz.com/
Tucson Originals: http://www.tucsonoriginals.com/
Arizona Small Business Association: www.asba.com
…Coming Soon—Ward 3 Council Office will sponsor a “Hazardous Waste” drop off at Mansfield Park on Saturday, July 21. Details to follow.