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November Lunch Recap: City of Spokane's Economic Strategy

037Jonathan Mallahan, Director of Neighborhood and Business Services with the city of Spokane joined INBA on Wednesday, November 9th to discuss the City of Spokane’s economic strategy.

A member of Mayor Condon’s cabinet, Jonathan oversees a division of city departments that includes social services and housing investment, planning and business support services, and the customer service functions so that citizens have easy and open access to all of the services that the city of Spokane provides. “In short, it’s my job to raise incomes in Spokane and ensure there exists a safety-net for the people in need.”

Jonathan joined INBA to share what the city is doing to promote investment and grow jobs in our community. First of all, Jonathan highlighted the City’s new membership with INBA as a first step in connecting with various communities and opening opportunities to the shared vision of an economically robust and diverse region. More diverse and equal communities point towards an enhanced quality of life and a stronger economy. The two concepts are intrinsically related, and in some senses it can be difficult to separate them, but the City of Spokane recognizes that biases and systemic and institutionalized discrimination need to be addressed separately with deliberate action.

The five areas where the City is focusing in order to best promote investment and growth are

  • Working to identify and proactively work with and support diverse businesses
  • Efforts to promote the Targeted Investment Program to promote growth in the City
  • What to expect as the City implements the earned Sick & Safe Leave policy
  • Addressing homelessness and creating shared housing programs
  • The general shared strategic economic development plan

The primary vision behind these targeted areas is to bring “economic equity” to Spokane. In order to accomplish this at the local level, the City is reaching out to business owners and community groups to consult on appropriate steps and perspectives.

 

 

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