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Town seeks to ease frustration


Aug. 29, 2014

By Carley Dangona
carley@thereminder.com

WEST SPRINGFIELD – After witnessing the frustration of small business owners, the town is launching an outreach program to assist with the permitting and licensing processes.

According to Tara Gehring, Economic Development coordinator and assistant planner, the town will host open office hours on the second Tuesday of each month from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. to assist small business owners with obtaining the proper licensure required for their establishments. The first open office will take place on Sept. 9.
   
“We thought the new initiative would help people invest in West Springfield,” Mayor Edward Sullivan said. He stressed that this is not the only time the town will meet with business owners, but is a time that will focus on their needs.
   
Sullivan explained that “small to medium size business owners wear lots of different hats” and don’t have specific teams of people to handle each aspect of the business, so they have to learn a great deal of information, which can be overwhelming at first.
   
Gehring noted that the needs and questions vary from business to business because permitting and licensing requirements are determined by a number of factors such as size, location and type.
   
“We want to tell them up from what departments they need to contact. We’re just making it easier [to alleviate the frustrations some business owners face],” she said.
   
The town is also going to post its “Business & Residents Guide to Permits & Licensing,” a brief overview of which departments handle what licenses and its “Town of West Springfield Permitting Guidebook,” an in-depth manual available online at www.west-springfield.ma.us.
   
Interested small business owners should contact Gehring at 495-1873 or tgehring@west-springfield.ma.us for more information and to schedule a time slot to ensure the proper personnel are in attendance to answer their specific questions or concerns.

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