Tucson: Our city is open for business

Tucson: Our city is open for business

CREATED Nov 30, 2011

Reporter: Kevin Keen

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When it comes to luring new businesses and helping existing ones expand, some say the city of Tucson has a poor track record. Many in the business community have told KGUN9 News red tape, complicated inspection rules and other barriers have lead prospective business owners to shy away from the Old Pueblo or throw in the towel all together. Tuesday night, an event to help change that climate.

Take Bill Holden, who's been in the business of glass for 35 years. Over the decades in Tucson, he's developed a philosophy.

“If you deal with people from here in town, the money stays here,” Holden told KGUN9 News. “They also employ people from here in town. That's what you want. I do because I was born here.”

To that end, Holden is looking to do business with the city. “From what I've heard, it's hard,” he said. “There's a lot of hoops you have to jump through.”

Tuesday night, the city put on a "Tucson Means Business" event at the Acosta Job Corps to make it easier.

“That's why we're hosting this forum tonight so we can educate the good citizens of Tucson about if you want to start a business or if you want to expand your business, these are the areas you're going to be able to touch base with, meet and connect with,” said Tucson City Council Member Richard Fimbres, who sponsored the event.

Of the crowd of more than 70, some came to hear city leaders talk about how to start a business in Tucson. Many, like Holden, wanted to know how to do business with the city.

“Is it easy, is it straightforward to do projects, to do contract work for a city like Tucson?” reporter Kevin Keen asked Scott Rose, owner of Infoguys Public Broadcast Systems, based in Phoenix. “Tucson makes it very easy because they streamlined their process as far as procurement goes,” Rose said. “With events like this, making people accessible so we can talk and plan projects that are coming up in the future.”

“It does say a lot about the city of Tucson,” said Wendy Rose, a fellow Infoguys owner. “It looks like they're looking to the future and wanting to connect everybody within Tucson and the surrounding areas because, when we all put our heads together, we make things happen.”