Tuesday, February 08, 2011

DCRA to Open Small Business Resource Office by Spring

The Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is taking a stab at making government more efficient. If you're following the agency's Twitter feed, the goal is apparently to save time and garner good will by expediting permit requests.

The agency has already established a Homeowner's Center, dedicated to helping expedite permitting for home repair and renovations. And now they're setting up a Small Business Resource Center, scheduled to open at 1100 4th Street SW in the spring.

Will it help? "Your homeowner building permit office is great!" tweeted Margaret Holwill, head of PR for the H Street NE Festival and owner of Holwill & Company media. "Could you do a one-stop shop for small biz?"

Helping people navigate purgatory is not in character for a government agency, but that's the intention. "We are envisioning laying out the steps and serving as a point of contact for updates on progress for the many agencies involved in the permitting process," said Helder Gil, spokesperson for DCRA.

DCRA hopes the new office will cut permit wait time in half by acting as a liaison between business owners and many government agencies. Small businesses that might benefit from the center include new retail, restaurants and non-profits in particular.

Washington DC real estate news


scrap DCRA and start over said...

While this is a positive step it doesn't address the underlying problem of a confusing, overly complicated, byzantine regulatory system designed to capture revenue and create needless government jobs rather than efficiently serve the citizens of DC. It's merely creating another layer on top of the system that shouldn't be this complicated or painful to deal with in the first place.

Anonymous said...

There should never be a need for expediting in the first place. Permitting should take no more than 10 business days, unless we're talking a major development project.

metemph on Feb 9, 2011, 2:28:00 PM said...

I just popped in to complain. Sitting at my computer all day makes me edgy.

Anonymous said...

DCRA needs to foucus on streamlining their process before they embark on new projects. Why can't they just provide ALL services online instead? like every other State.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't just DCRA, it's just one of the multitude of agencies you have to coordinate with. Why not have a city-wide small business/homeowner office that includes OTR, ABRA, and reps from anyone else you need to talk to. The fact that a single agency requires this shows how poorly organized that group is in the first place.

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