NEW CASTLE — Patti LaBelle isn’t the only one to get a “new attitude” like the one she sings about in her 1985 hit tune. The town of New Castle is also in the process of focusing its energy into becoming a more business-friendly community.
“At our annual retreat, we were looking at all the [business] fees we have, and we decided we’re not going to raise them,” said Trustee Bob Gordon, who is spearheading the effort, along with Trustee Bruce Leland. “We want to rework the fees and make them more business-friendly.”
The board is already looking at possibly canceling the $25 business license fee.
“We still can’t get people to register, but what we really want is the information so we can include it on our website,” said Mayor Frank Breslin. “We need to take a more robust advocacy for businesses. We need to treat the business community like our partners, because they are.”
The town plans to put together its own business directory, in addition to the one put out by the New Castle Chamber of Commerce.
The town is also in the process of redesigning its website in hopes of also attracting tourists that will come and experience the town, patronize existing businesses and possibly decide to open one of their own in New Castle.
“The issue of economic development is a difficult one,” said Town Administrator Tom Baker. “But we thought that instead of trying to get someone from the outside to come in, let’s utilize the strengths that we have. We need to refocus our economic development strategy by taking advantage of what we have here.”
To do that, the town wants to promote all that New Castle has to offer, such as hiking, biking, fishing, camping, hunting and golf.
“New Castle is the base camp for outdoor recreation in the area,” Baker pointed out. “We’re going to expose New Castle to the larger, virtual world through our website.”
The strategy also includes not just bringing new business to town, but to promote the existing businesses as well.
“We realize we’ve got to make sure the existing businesses do well, too,” Gordon said. “We’re getting a new attitude — a business-friendly attitude.”
For more information about town businesses licenses call New Castle Town Hall at 984-2311.
“New Castle is the base camp for outdoor recreation in the area. We’re going to expose New Castle to the larger, virtual world through our website.”
New Castle town administrator