Last night, Burlington City Council voted to begin implementing the recommendations developed as part of the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force initiative. Since its inception earlier this year, the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force initiative has collected insights and ideas from the Burlington business community, partner organizations and City staff to better understand the challenges (red tape) to locating or expanding a business to Burlington, and to ideate around solutions that will better serve our businesses (red carpet).
There were 22 recommendations approved by Council. These recommendations complement existing initiatives already being undertaken by the City of Burlington and Burlington Economic Development. This combined work will help grow and retain businesses in Burlington and attract new talent to the city. The Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force initiative is not just about development but will help all businesses thrive, relocate or start out here.
These recommendations also prioritize the City’s commitment to making the development approval process easier and more seamless; this builds on the City’s goal of providing an exceptional customer service experience for our businesses and residents every time. This will mean more self-serve offerings online and a “one window, one stop” customer service area at City Hall.
Moving to this better way of serving our customers is part of the City’s continuous improvement. Some services or applications may see improvements faster than others as we update our processes and resources to make these changes happen. Red Tape Red Carpet recommendations are both short- and long-term wins in achieving Burlington’s goal of rolling out the red carpet and making sure Burlington is open for business.
Action on short-term wins, including establishing a new position of Customer Experience Manager-Business Development, is already underway. Mike Greenlee, who is very experienced with all facets of the planning and development process will be, on an interim basis, providing support to businesses to facilitate good working relationships with the business community; a public recruitment will be used to fill the position on a permanent basis. Mr. Greenlee will help businesses navigate complex application processes and improve the ease of high-volume transactions as part of the work the City is doing to improve on the City’s customer service experience.
- The Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force is an initiative the Mayor announced, co-chaired by Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, at the State of the City address on January 30th, 2019.
- Public feedback informed the recommendations and was gathered from a series of events (town hall, focus groups, and task force sessions) along with other studies, surveys and anecdotal feedback to identify the challenges and obstacles facing growth and relocation of businesses in Burlington, and develop actionable solutions.
Next steps will be the development and implementation of targets for the remaining recommendations and creating a public dashboard with key milestones and timelines. Ongoing dialogue is encouraged and a feedback form is available for business owners to provide feedback to the City and related staff on their dealings with us. For more information visit burlington.ca/rtrc.
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Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
“I am thrilled to see these recommendations passed by City Council and have full confidence that we will see positive and lasting change as a result. The Red Tape Red Carpet initiative was a truly collaborative journey, bringing together the feedback, ideas and insights from our valued business community, internal staff, and external partners. I am grateful to everyone who contributed their time and energy over the past eight months. Their willingness to explore the ways we can improve and evolve how businesses engage with City Hall will create an environment where we can truly remove unnecessary red tape and roll out the red carpet for business growth here in Burlington. I look forward to seeing these recommendations implemented over the coming months and keeping you informed of our progress and results.”
Councillor Kelvin Galbraith
“The Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force was created to explore efficiencies in our internal operations with the goal to allow our business community to thrive. It was a collaborative effort between city staff, Burlington Economic Development and our business community. I am very thankful that the business community engaged with us and value their efforts and time. I believe the recommendations in the RTRC task force are truly reflective of our valued businesses and their issues with growth and prosperity in our city. I am thankful to Council for approval of these recommendations and their assistance in listening to our businesses. I look forward positive results with our existing business community and rolling out the red carpet to new opportunities.”
City Manager Tim Commisso
“The City is focused on action and expeditiously implementing the recommendations of the Red Tape Red Carpet initiatives. Our commitment is on improving the customer experience for businesses based on the feedback and ideas we heard from the business community. Burlington is open for business and we know we need to continue to work on better supporting local businesses and attracting new ones to our great city. In partnership with City Council and Burlington Economic Development, an important next step now for the City is to confirm the milestones of this work and create a dashboard to communicate when these recommendations will happen. Work is already underway and we will continue to update the public on the progress we are making on this work for our city.”
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