SUMMERSIDE - The president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce says the city is heading in the right direction with its 2014 municipal budget and was pleased with council allocation of $530,000 for economic development.
Jane Sharpe, executive director of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, chats with incoming President Jonathan Greenan (centre) and outgoing President Patrick McSweeney during the group’s annual general meeting on Monday. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
“Overall it sounds as though deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall is on the right track," said chamber president Jonathan Greenan, following the 2014 budget address Monday night. “There’s certainly more money for economic development initiatives.”
The chamber president said the chamber will get a better feel for the budget once it has had an opportunity to sit down and go through the figures.
“Until we actually see the document to see exactly where things are allocated, it’s hard to determine, but I think, given the focus on economic development initiatives, it's just a matter of finding out where that money is going to be spent,” he said.
Red tape has been an issue for developers and the business community and it is an issue that has been looked at by city council. However, there was no clear-cut initiative contained in Monday’s budget address to directly deal with the concern.
Greenan said he wants to see the budget document to determine if there are any provisions that could help reduce the red tape.
There certainly wasn’t anything highlighted in the address to the reduction of red tape,” he said. “I know from the developers’ summit they had in early 2013 that was something that a lot of our members and a lot of developers in general are concerned about.”
In past years, the city has offered incentives to businesses in the budget, but none were offered this year, Greenan said.
“It’s hard to say one particular incentive given the chamber represents so many different businesses,” he said “A positive is that property (tax rates) are not going up again and that will be well received. As far as incentives, we didn’t hear much tonight.”