Building a strong 21st century economy means (1) supporting businesses that already call Knoxville home, (2) creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurs and start-ups to establish new products and services, and (3) recruiting new businesses to grow key industries for the future.
As Mayor, I will ensure existing businesses receive top quality services, and I will streamline regulations and the permitting process to make it easier to do business in the City. From makers to start-up technology companies, we must also embrace a culture of innovation and risk-taking that will payoff for years to come. The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is an extremely valuable resource, and I would support its mission to connect entrepreneurs with capital, customers, and the talent in order for them to be successful.
To recruit new businesses, we must be strategic and focus on industries where we have a competitive advantage, such as creativity, light manufacturing, and technology. I will also target economic development incentives to spur growth and create opportunity in distressed neighborhoods. From apprenticeships and trades programs to coding and software development training courses, we must provide tools, so our citizens possess the skills to earn a living for their families.
Most importantly, Knoxville must be a leader in innovation. The City must address the digital divide and lack of quality internet options for our businesses and citizens. Fast, reliable internet has become a necessity, and we must assess the feasibility of public high-speed broadband internet and push private providers to increase service and access.