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ESP Chamber of Commerce and Council hold business workshop

Posted: August 6, 2015

 

On Tuesday, July 21, the East St. Paul Chamber of Commerce hosted a workshop with members of Council to discuss economic development opportunities for East St. Paul. 

Council approached the Chamber to host this event so they could hear directly from the existing business community on how to best grow business in East St. Paul.  All members of Council and 18 members of the Chamber attended this event.

The workshop was facilitated by Chamber member Peter Siemens, who generated great conversations.  Some ideas for growth included changes to the signage by-laws and development fees, incentives for new business, and the development of a commercial park.

At the conclusion of the workshop, Chamber Vice President Corey DesJarlais shared these observations.  "After meeting with Council and some of our Chamber Members, we are very optimistic about the future of ESP. This is a big step towards opening lines of communication between residents, business owners and Council.  Our goal is to build a stronger business community, with the support of local residents of course, as well as working with Council on maintaining a sustainable tax base through commercial land developments and property densities.  It’s important to have complete transparency so we can make educated decisions as it pertains to the future of East St. Paul.”

Mayor Shelley Hart shared Council’s interest in the outcomes of this workshop. "Growing our business community is important on two fronts.  Residents have told us they want more retail options and services closer to home and for East St. Paul to remain sustainable, we need to grow our business sector. When we rely so heavily on a residential tax base to support all the services in our community, our ability to keep those taxes reasonable is challenging.”

Currently, 98.5% of the taxes collected in East St. Paul are residential, only 1.5% is derived from business. By comparison, West St. Paul’s business tax base is 14%.


               East St. Paul Residential vs Business tax comparison


In collaboration with residents, local businesses and developers, East St. Paul Council is committed to building the business community in East St. Paul. They will continue to offer opportunities for input in the months ahead. 



 

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