Adapting to business needs

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Business needs are changing, and the City of Burlington is adapting with them. Putting customer experience first is one of the many ways the City of Burlington is cutting the red tape and rolling out the red carpet for businesses.

In late 2019, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in partnership with Ward One City Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, announced the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force, the mandate of the Task Force is to identify and eliminate barriers to growth so that businesses can locate here, expand, and thrive.

Through stakeholder sessions, the Task Force developed 22 recommendations. Anything and everything from developing a Burlington Brownfield Community Improvement Plan (approved by Council in early 2021) to the creation of an “Open for Business” customer service window on the first floor of City Hall that allows for on-the-spot collaboration and problem solving (underway currently).

Alongside the formation of the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force (RTRC), the City took dramatic steps to enhance their customer’s experience, casting a wide net for who is considered a “customer” to include residents, existing businesses, potential new businesses and community stakeholders. The City did this through creating a dedicated corporate Customer Experience Team and developing a Customer Experience Strategy, these steps will help the City to achieve the vision of having “one city, one customer” through an empowered team who build lifelong relationships and trust through outstanding customer service and innovative solutions.

To further implement the RTRC recommendations and Customer Experience Strategy, a partnership has been created with the goals of increasing economic prosperity, business development and providing a good customer experience. The partnership involves collaboration between the City’s Customer Experience Manager – Business Development, Manager Planning Implementation and the Manager of Business Development from Burlington Economic Development to address individual application concerns and to ensure customer experience is considered for development services process reviews and improvements.

COVID-19 forced organizations around the world to pivot on a dime and the City of Burlington was no different. Taking the unprecedent times in stride, city officials quickly shifted to providing a range of services online.

The City has now developed a modern online portal for building permit applications that makes doing business in Burlington easier than ever.