Mayor Stanton Writes… MARCH 2018

Mayor Stanton Writes…

We’ve worked hard to build an innovation-based economy that works for every Phoenix family. To achieve that, we are attracting big companies that bring good, high-paying jobs in sustainable industries — but equally important, we’re supporting and growing the small businesses that feed our local economy.

And people across the nation are taking notice that Phoenix is a great place to open up shop.

This February, I was honored to receive the Small Business Advocate Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Partner America, which recognized the city’s efforts to offer the best possible tools for small businesses. This accolade is a shared one — and a reflection of the work the City Council has done to adopt common-sense policies that have made it easier than ever to do business in Phoenix.

Over the past several years, we’ve found innovative ways to help support the growth of small businesses so that anyone with a good idea and the willingness to work hard can get started.

When I took office, I listened to concerns from the business community that our permitting system took too long, and it was more complicated than necessary to simply get a business off the ground. We responded by cutting red tape, creating a 24-hour online permitting system, and moving plan reviews online, too. As a result, business owners can spend more time growing their companies and less time waiting in line.

We also gave entrepreneurs a helping hand with business readiness classes to take the guesswork out of starting or growing their companies. The hive@central business incubator in our library helps owners navigate the legal ins and outs of a startup all the way to finding access to capital. And it offers those resources in both English and Spanish. The city’s export boot camp, ExporTech, prepares more established entrepreneurs to sell products and services internationally — and makes easier the process of entering the global marketplace.

Traditionally, cities haven’t taken the lead in offering these kinds of programs and services to businesses. But in Phoenix, it has made all the difference for real entrepreneurs in our community with big dreams.

Jose and Leticia Gamiz brought their dream to the hive@central three years ago. The husband-wife team had a vision for opening a restaurant, and through the Mapa Para Su Negocio curriculum they grew and transformed that idea into a reality. The hive connected them with a network of experienced mentors who helped turn their unique food concept in to the wildly popular Mi Vegana Madre vegan Mexican food truck. When asked about his path to launch the restaurant, Jose Gamiz responded, “Mi Vegana Madre was born in our hearts and our minds, but really it was born at the hive.” That’s a success story everyone in Phoenix can celebrate.

When our small businesses do well, our residents and families get ahead. I’m proud of our progress, and I know Phoenix will continue to do its part to expand opportunities. If there is one message that this award sends locally and nationally, it’s that Phoenix is open for business.

To learn more about the City of Phoenix or to contact Mayor Stanton, call 602.262.7111 or visit

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