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Boise launches downtown business assistance program

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Boise launches downtown business assistance program

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Apr 15, 2014

The City of Boise’s Planning and Development Services Department Tuesday launched a pilot program to help business owners hoping to open, renovate, or relocate their companies in downtown Boise.

The program was announced by Mayor David Bieter at the “State of Downtown” event, the Downtown Boise Association’s Annual Meeting.

Officials said the “Downtown Occupancy Assistance Program” will help business owners navigate the City’s permit process by explaining required permits and identifying potential issues early in the process. Services will include pre-project research, assistance in completing required documents, problem solving, and on-site permitting and inspections. Adele Schaffeld-Griffin will manage the program for the city. Schaffeld-Griffin is certified as a plans examiner/inspector for building, fire, accessibility and energy, and a certified mechanical inspector.

“Because of her diverse background and experience, Adele can serve as a one-stop shop for qualifying occupancy evaluation projects in downtown,” Planning and Development Services Director Derick O’Neill said. “She’ll meet the client at their business, review the plans, and can perform inspections on-site.”

Griffin who will focus on building positive relationships with leasing agents, business owners, and economic development agencies such as the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Boise Valley Economic Partnership, and Capital City Development Corporation.

The new pilot program is a collaborative effort between the City of Boise and the Downtown Boise Association. “The Downtown Boise Occupancy Assistance Program is a valuable tool for property and business owners, providing them guidance through the tenant improvement permitting process, and setting them up for success before they even open the doors,” Downtown Boise Association Executive Director Karen Sander said.

Kristen Jackson, whose Lit & Co. candle shop is soon to open in BoDo, is among the first business owners to receive assistance.

“The process was much easier and far less complicated than I imagined. I was expecting to run into snags and delays. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient and easy it was to obtain my permits. I was really impressed with the quick turnaround time and everyone involved was friendly and incredibly helpful -– definitely one of the better administrative experiences I've had in building my business,” she said.

The pilot program is part of the City’s effort to “Redefine Downtown” and fits within Planning & Development Service’s mission of “Building Boise Together.”