April 22: Oops sorry, wrong poll .The wrong poll was
displayed with this post since yesterday. The correct poll is up
The time has come, members of
Port Orchard City Council’s tourism committee said Tuesday, for
the committee to expand its duties to include economic
To date, the committee has focused mainly on working with the
Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, nonprofits and local
businesses on special events that draw visitors, such as the city’s
Chimes and Lights Festival, the Seagull Calling Contest and last
summer’s Cedar Cove Days.
Paying more attention to economic development would be a natural
progression, said committee chairman Jerry Childs. Committee
members, including Childs, Jim Colebank and Fred Chang, have been
looking at cities like Poulsbo and Leavenworth as models.
Childs said the committee would coordinate with Mayor Lary
Coppola, who so far has been the city’s designee and spokesman in
attempts to attract new business. Coppola has already hosted some
focus groups with selected business owners.
One of the committee’s ideas is to host an economic development
page on the city’s Web site with information on permitting and
other resources related to economic development. The Port Orchard
Chamber of Commerce has a resource page for prospective and current
businesses, but, said Chang, it’s not the committee’s intention to
reinvent the wheel.
“I don’t think we intend to duplicate anything that’s already
being done,” said Chang, speaking as an individual committee member
and not for the committee. “If we do a website, we’d want to plug a
gap where there is one. It’s certainly not intended as a slap to
One business owner willing to take a gamble on Port Orchard is
Melinda Brown and her partner Shane Makoviney, who will open
Melinda Lee’s at 810 Bay Street on May 1. Shane is a clock
repairman; Melinda is an artist and gardener. Their store will
offer a potpourri of artwork, garden starts, gifts and sundry
supplies that would be useful to boaters.
Lee is bullish on Port Orchard. She sees a positive momentum in
the downtown mix of stores despite the economy. “We love Bay Street
and believe in it and believe in what it could be,” she said.
Of course Port Orchard business extends outside the downtown
district, and the committee will pay attention to those folks as
well, Chang said.
Colebank said, “it’s not as important to draw new business as it
is to keep our current businesses happy.”
So what should city government do to make the city a business
friendly place? Parking you say? Right, it’s on their to-do list.
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