Economic Advisory Panel sets 2012 Agenda

Economic Development Chairwoman Sher Valenzuela and Councilman Garrett Grier during the January Advisory Board meeting.

The Economic Development Advisory Panel had their first meeting of 2012 on Wednesday, January 25. Looking to build on their accomplishments from last year the Advisory Panel is moving forward on their commitment to workforce development and support for new and existing businesses.

In 2012 the Economic Development Advisory Panel will focus on working closer with local small business owners and entrepreneurs as a reference point on how to connect with state and federal resources. Jayne Armstrong and Bill Bishop, from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), were guests of honor at Wednesday night’s meeting and spoke of the services that they facilitate for businesses across the country.

“We help small businesses find access to capital, counseling, training and innovation,” stated Bill Bishop, Business Development Specialist at SBA. “We guide them through this process to increase their chances of success.”

Mr. Bishop will be working closely with the Economic Development Committee and City officials to create a presence for the SBA here in MIlford.

At the meeting City Manager Richard Carmean stated that The City of Milford is moving forward in the hiring process of a new Economic Development Director that will assist in the implementation of the Economic Development Strategy that was adopted by Milford City Council in January of 2011. City Manager Richard Carmean, City Planner Gary Norris and Economic Development Chairman Garrett Grier will head a selection panel to select the individual that will be recommended for the position.

Next month the Economic Development Advisory Panel will be sending out a Citizen’s survey to gain information about how residents perceive the city of Milford and its future. The panel has already sent out surveys to businesses in Milford and high school students asking them to do the same. The Citizen’s survey will be located in the City of MIlford’s monthly electric bill statement and delivered to all households that receive City electric. The purpose of this survey is to act as a barometer for public opinion so that the advisory council may more accurately reflect the views of the public when making recommendations to the Economic Development Committee and Milford City Council.