PORTLAND — A task force working to create an economic development blueprint for the city has released a draft version of the plan and is seeking public input.
The task force, comprised of representatives from the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, Creative Portland Corp. and Downtown Portland Corp., has been working for a year to come up with an economic development vision and direction for the city. A graduate class from Massachusetts Institute of Technology prepared a profile of the city and provided some strategy suggestions, too.
The Community Development Committee was scheduled to discuss the draft, released Jan. 10, at its Wednesday meeting. According to a memo from Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell, public and stakeholder meetings are supposed to be scheduled through March
The task force Facebook page has a link to the draft report along with a comment section.
The draft centers on three core areas: growing the economy, creative economy and supporting business.
One of its suggestions is creation of a “Portland Host” program, where existing businesses welcome new businesses and even assist in recruiting new businesses. Also suggested is marketing and branding the city along a common theme.
The plan also includes working in collaboration with Maine & Co. and the Greater Portland Economic Development Corp. to attract innovative and high-growth industries. Examples of these industries are bio-science, health and medical, arts and culture, and food production.
Maine & Co. is a private, nonprofit business consulting firm. The Greater Portland Economic Development Corp. is a regional group representing six municipalities. That new group had its initial meeting Jan. 11.
Mitchell is expected to present the draft plan to the CDC this week. According to his memo, the goal is to have a final draft go to the Portland Community Chamber and the City Council for adoption in April.
The CDC was scheduled to meet Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. in Room 209 at City Hall.