MORATORIUM – ADDRESS TO CITY COUNCIL 08/07/2017

September 5, 2017

 

As a pro-business advocate for economic vitality in the region the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce supports pro-business opportunities that meet the vision of the Central Issaquah plan and enhances the economic vitality of our community.

 

The Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce thanks the city and the city council for all you do. The work city staff has done on the issues surrounding the moratorium is impressive to say the least.

 

For 125 years the leaders of Issaquah have done a great job of maintaining work – life balance. Preserving our history, culture and green space while embracing new industry, technology and growth shows in who we are today.  We are pleased to know that you are carrying on the tradition of care. In fact, the Chamber is confident that Issaquah will continue to grow and thrive while the city continues to protect our valuable resources and assets.

Due to our confidence in you, city staff and the great record of past leaders; the Chamber, Business Owners and their employees urge the city council to also trust in yourselves and lift the moratorium while you finish up the work that is almost complete.

 

Lifting the moratorium will allow the funnel to reopen and opportunity for new businesses and growing businesses to begin exploring Issaquah as a warm and welcoming place in which to work, live and play.

 

Since it will take time to get the word out that Issaquah is once again open for business, the cross over should not be impactful. It just allows us the ability to take advantage of the current economic climate. Growth is still strong however all key indicators shows it is slowing. Worst case scenario we hope to avoid is that the moratorium continues and by the time we are ready the opportunity to welcome new business to Issaquah has passed.

 

The Chamber has another concern and reason for asking the council consider lifting the moratorium. Without revenue from permits the city will face some serious fiscal challenges for the next few years. And the chamber, local businesses and residents are concerned where the city will turn to make up for that lost revenue. We are concerned that the moratorium may already being leading to increases in property taxes, or increase B&O taxes, or services to the community are cut in order to balance future budgets.

 

Remember to that construction generates sales. Workers purchase gas, food, and services. Contractors hire local sub-contractors and they all purchase materials and services from local businesses. The business community will be hurt next year by the slow-down of projects, thus again impacting the city coffers. Less income equals less B&O tax.

 

We believe in the wisdom and skill of our city staff and believe that with your support we can open our doors to business again without extending the moratorium

 

The Chamber Board of Directors would also like the city council to know that we are here to help. We would support your decision to lift the moratorium and we would help educate our membership and the community in any way we can. We look forward to opportunities that allow us to collaborate and we thank you for all you do for Issaquah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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