Small Business City of the South: Give Mayor Deegan some advice

Donna Deegan is now Mayor and we anxiously await to see how well she will perform. It’s a new job to her and she has stated big aspirations for our city. One that caught our EYE is her desire to see Jacksonville become the small business city of the south. We give her a big WINK for seeing the importance of fostering a business-friendly environment.

When cities prioritize policies that encourage entrepreneurship, investment, and economic growth, they lay the foundation for prosperity and opportunity for all residents. As an advocate for business I believe that embracing business friendliness is crucial for the well-being of our city and creates many benefits such as:

Creation of Jobs. By creating an environment that attracts businesses, we can generate employment opportunities. More jobs mean reduced unemployment rates, increased household income, and decreased dependency on government assistance. Ultimately, this leads to a more vibrant local economy, as people have more disposable income to spend on goods and services, further benefiting local businesses.

Tax Revenue and Infrastructure Investment. When businesses thrive, so does the local government’s revenue. A business-friendly environment encourages entrepreneurs to establish their ventures, leading to increased tax revenue. This additional revenue can be invested in essential infrastructure projects, such as improving roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and public transportation. This takes the burden off individual taxpayers and the issue of raising our taxes once again should be moot. The individual taxpayers can not afford higher taxes again under a new administration.

Community Engagement and Social Responsibility: Successful businesses often play an integral role in community engagement and social responsibility. By embracing business friendliness, cities and towns encourage corporations to actively participate in local initiatives, sponsor community events, and support charitable causes. This involvement creates a strong sense of community, where businesses and residents collaborate to address local challenges, create opportunities, and improve the overall quality of life.

Attracting and Retaining Talent: A business-friendly environment is attractive to talented individuals seeking opportunities for professional growth and upward mobility. When a city embraces entrepreneurship and fosters a favorable business climate, it becomes a magnet for skilled workers. This influx of talent not only drives local economic growth but also contributes to the overall intellectual and cultural vibrancy of the community. Furthermore, a thriving business environment provides existing residents with more career options, reducing the need for them to relocate elsewhere in search of opportunities. In other words, our children will want to live here and not go to places that offer them more. One of Mayor Deegan’s driving passions to run for Mayor was for her children to return to Jacksonville because of all our city could offer them.

ACTION: Eye would like to hear from our readers who run businesses here in Jacksonville. Is it easy to do business here? What do you think Mayor Deegan should look into regarding our processes and policies to make your business life easier? What steps do you think our city leaders should do to attract and retain businesses?

We hope Mayor Deegan actually makes this promise happen. The importance of a city becoming business friendly cannot be overstated.

That’s our opinion. What say you?

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.

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