Mayor Ted Bettencourt will tonight ask the city council to approve the creation of a new position he hopes will help make the process of doing business in Peabody easier. This position for a “business liaison” would pay from $45,500 to $58,500 a year.
The responsibility of this liaison would be to guide business people through the process of setting up and maintaining a business in Peabody when it comes to dealing with the governmental issues and red tape.
It’s a good idea, but only if this new position has some teeth. If this only about giving business owners, and perspective business owners, information on what they need to open or maintain a business in Peabody, then it could be a waste of taxpayer money.
But if the person in this position has some authority, backed by the mayor, to break down the walls that typically make it more difficult to do business in Peabody, then I definitely applaud this move.
The mayor tells the Salem News that his intent is to have Peabody be more business-friendly, and that’s definitely a worthy goal. For years now, local businesses have found the process of operating here complex and difficult, especially when it comes to regulations and permitting. From Day 1, Bettencourt made it his goal to have city departments be more customer-friendly to business owners. He’s made progress here, and shown he is serious through a handful of firings and hirings.
He’s also established an Economic Development Council to come up with a strategy for energizing and expanding Peabody’s commercial tax base. But that committee, of which I’m a member, definitely needs to start meeting again. We haven’t had a meeting since the spring.
But all of this, I feel, continues to show that the mayor is serious about expanding our tax base to give Peabody much-needed revenue in these times when big bills are coming due on school projects and other much-needed improvements to our infrastructure.
So, the idea for this new position is a good one … just as long is it has some teeth.