Support the development of an economic environment that attracts new businesses and retains existing businesses and offers a diverse business mix.
- Despite continued troubles in the air travel industry, Aviation has focused on maintaining the hub operation and all it affords the community.
Airways further developed the airport as the Caribbean Gateway of the South by adding destinations, which now total 19. Additionally, the remainder of the US Airways flight crew training operation will be relocated from
. Corporate citizens are provided the opportunity to store aircraft; this year, the Airport completed construction of the Coca Cola corporate facilities. Independence Air will begin operations in October 2004, offering low-fare flights to
and a growing list of other cities.
- Hotel occupancy rates fell short of the 63% target by nearly 9% and the nightly average room rates did not meet the goal of $70.
- Economic Development provided 48 loans and grants to 64 neighborhood businesses operating within the City's distressed business corridors. For example, infrastructure and security grants provided assistance to owners of a new daycare facility to implement curb, gutter, landscaping, backflow prevention requirements, and such security features as lighting, an alarm system and fencing.
- Small businesses registered with the Small Business Development Office increased to 439, exceeding the City's goal by 168%. The variety of services that can be provided by registered small businesses also increased in all five categories tracked.
- Small businesses' access to funds for seasonal working capital support, permanent working capital and expansion capital was enhanced through the establishment of the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) loan fund. The SBE loan fund provided nearly $1 million in loans to 17 small businesses: 60% were awarded to minority-owned firms, 29% were awarded to women-owned firms and 35% were awarded to start-up businesses.
- Notification of subcontracting opportunities to Small Business Enterprise firms was streamlined by a process through which City department liaisons work with the Small Business Opportunity office to identify, evaluate and promote contracting opportunities.
- 1800% percent return on public-private investments. Public-private investment achieved a ratio of 1:18, with $432,431 of City money for loan and grant programs leveraging $7,862,085 of private bank loans and owner equity.
- General Dynamics moved the headquarters of its Armament and Defense Technology Division and a manufacturing plant to
, investing $20 million and creating 300 jobs.
Graduation from City-sponsored training programs for small business owners failed to meet the target of 39 graduates. Thirty-six business owners successfully completed training