Salisbury makes opening new businesses easier
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SALISBURY, N.C. – Opening a new business just got a little easier in Salisbury.
City officials consolidated much of their development services to one location. Now business owners wanting to set up shop in the city can find things like permits, licenses and other materials in one stop.
Stephanie Potter remembers vividly the day her wine shop opened in downtown Salisbury.
"We opened up on July 14th two years ago," said Stephanie Potter, who remembers vividly the day that she opened her wine shop in downtown Salisbury. But she also said that the process leading up to that opening day wasn't easy.
"It's time consuming, and it is expensive," said Potter.
Because of this, Salisbury city officials made the process of opening a new business quicker and easier.
"They can sit here comfortable and we can knock some of those things out," said Preston Mitchell, Planning and Development Services Manager.
Things like applying for permits and licenses, paying inspection fees and other information are now all addressed under one roof.
"Someone can walk into our one door, and talk to many different people that beforehand they were having to travel all over the city to find those individuals," said Mitchell.
Everyone from the city's fire inspector to its zoning administrator are in one place, helping streamline the new business process.
What used to take weeks or even months, can now take just days.
"Any business whether it's a 25 hundred square foot deli, all the way up to a 150 thousand square foot Wal-mart or Target Super Center, all of that would come through this office and so I think anyone and everyone is going to benefit from this," said Mitchell.
City officials said that the consolidation isn't just to make the process easier for business owners, but to use that convenience to attract them here in the first place.
"Salisbury is not competing with Charlotte or Greensboro. Salisbury is competing with Rock Hill. Salisbury is competing with other communities similar in size and so, sure we want to continue to attract new business," said Mitchell.
This will get more businesses open and customers in the doors sooner.
"I'm excited that if you can take several weeks and condense it down to a few days that's the best thing. That will be best for all of us," said Potter.
City officials said that the ‘one stop shop’ idea is modeled after the process in Boulder, Colorado.