The city of Pullman is looking to hire someone who will actively recruit new businesses to the area while helping to develop existing businesses.
The city council last week approved the creation of an economic development manager position. City Administrator Adam Lincoln said the city hopes to make the hire in the next few months.
According to a memo from Lincoln to the city council, the position’s salary would be about $74,000 to $89,500 a year.
Lincoln said the new hire would act as a liaison with other economic organizations like the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, Pullman 2040, the Port of Whitman County and the Downtown Pullman Association.
The economic development manager’s goal will be to help bring new businesses to Pullman, while helping retain and develop businesses already in the city.
They will also work to identify the vacant or underutilized properties in Pullman that could be used for commercial purposes, work with building owners and even help businesses looking to remodel.
Lincoln said improving and expanding the Pullman business community will help the city develop a stronger, more diverse tax base. He said the city relies heavily on property taxes for revenue and adding an influx of sales tax dollars would strengthen the economy and allow the city more revenue to take on future projects.
Francis Benjamin, who works with Pullman 2040, said the economic development manager can take on these responsibilities that have traditionally been shared by the mayor and the other agencies in the city.
That way, the city can be more focused in its planning for downtown and the broader business community.
Lincoln said many other cities, including Moscow, have a similar position.
Marie Dymkoski, executive director of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, said the economic development manager is an important step in the growth of Pullman. She said Pullman’s increasing population and amenities like education and health care are attractive recruiting tools that could bring in a more diverse array of businesses.
“We know that our education system and our exceptional health care services are desirable attributes to those that choose to come to WSU or SEL and live in Pullman, but we also know that there is a capacity for other high tech businesses and more retail to accommodate the growing community,” she wrote in an email.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.