The city of Gresham just made it easier to do business here. By shortening the review time in half for developers and site selectors, according to a statement, the city claims to be the first in the state to guarantee a shorter turnaround time for industrial application and review.

The industrial code change was approved by the Gresham City Council in July and takes effect Aug. 14, part of a two-year, council-driven initiative to ensure Gresham is “one of the most competitive communities in which to do business in the Portland metropolitan area.”

Mayor Shane Bemis said the city is focused on “attracting and growing good jobs” in the city and one way to do that is to attract industrial businesses to Gresham.

The application process for developers involves a pre-application meeting first, but after that the city promises applications will be approved or denied within 66 days, much less than the state-mandated 120-day process.

According to the city's statement, Shannon Stadey, acting director of Economic Development Services for the city, said the new code is aimed at boosting Gresham's strong industrial base.

She cited manufacturing, distributing, clean technology and professional service companies as Gresham's biggest employers, “where everything from medical equipment to microchips are made and where coffee, canned goods and airplane parts are shipped around the world.”

According to the state Employment Department, the city says, traded sector businesses in Gresham employ about 11,500 people. Among the biggest are Boing, US Bank, ON Semiconductor, Microchip Technology, Staples, Frito-Lay, Boyd Coffee Co., Pella Vinyl and Cascade Corp.

Stadey said the city is “hungry to grow the traded sector base” and is committed to being competitive. The city has also streamlined its land use regulations and stepped up its outreach to site selectors, including the launch of a mobile app for economic development, GO Gresham.

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