Initiative to make Albuquerque more attractive to private sector.
For Immediate Release
March 29, 2010
Contact: Chris Ramirez, (505) 350-4833
Albuquerque—Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry unveiled his first economic development plan called Thrive ABQ with a three-prong approach to encourage buying locally, changing policies, reorganizing city government, and drafting new legislation to create an environment that is attractive to growing the private sector.
"I understand that it is the private sector, not the government that creates jobs," Mayor Berry told the National Association of Industrial Office Properties (NAIOP). "But government can create an environment that makes doing business easier and that attracts more businesses to Albuquerque."
- In an effort to buy more locally, the Berry Administration purchased new software called SyCom that allows other municipalities and institutions across the United States to access Albuquerque’s vendors. When a company signs up on the City of Albuquerque’s vendor website, that company can respond to requests for quotes (RFQ) from hundreds of other cities.
- Mayor Berry is working to modify the City’s procurement regulations in order to support more local businesses that are priced competitively.
- Mayor Berry urged all private companies and public institutions to strive to do business locally.
- Time is money in the world of business. In order to expedite the construction permitting process and to allow business to begin work sooner, Mayor Berry proposed a new program called FastTrax. This will be a program within the Planning Department that will allow builders and developers to acquire all necessary permits expeditiously by helping to share the costs associated with the permitting and code enforcement staff.
- Mayor Berry plans to work with State legislators to create changes in New Mexico laws to allow for a third party to review portions of building plans that are typically reviewed by city employees. Mayor Berry believes this will speed up the process to get permits out quickly while still providing important consumer and safety protections.
- The Planning Department is also working to implement new software programs so that all building plans can be submitted and reviewed electronically. This would speed up the process, create a better audit trail, and allow the City of Albuquerque to use the same cutting edge technology currently used by the building industry.
- The Mayor has directed the Economic Development Department, under the direction of John Garcia, to establish a Business Resource Center on the 11th floor of City Hall. The Business Resource Center will help small businesses navigate the processes at City Hall and will offer direction, seminars and other tools to help small businesses thrive in Albuquerque.
- Mayor Berry announced the City of Albuquerque is partnering with the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Business. The City will sponsor one of the top plans from the business school and help finance and market their project. This collaboration with the University of New Mexico will help support, encourage and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in Albuquerque.
- As a means to recruit more industry to Albuquerque, Mayor Berry wants to bolster incentives offered by the City. One plan the mayor will aggressively pursue is to create a fund for economic development projects within the 2011 CIP cycle. Mayor Berry believes if the City has its own funds in place to help with public infrastructure such as roads and other improvements, the economic development team will have additional tools to incentivize projects that other city governments may not offer.
- The mayor has instructed his economic team to continue targeting businesses that are a good fit for Albuquerque such as clean and renewable energy, manufacturing, tourism and film.