City commission works to improve businesses in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Columbia is a much different place than it was seven years ago. And the city council is working to keep up with the times.

On Monday night, the Columbia Vision Commission met to update strategies in order to improve its economic development plan.

In the 2008 vision of Columbia, the economic development section focused on aspects such as creating jobs and starting businesses.

Now, the city will work to "attract, retain, and encourage the growth of new businesses by establishing a business-friendly climate, enhancing regional economic partnerships, and promoting reciprocal business relationships."

The city council hopes to achieve this by promoting positive attitudes toward economic development and by promoting entrepreneurs.

Scott Dier recently opened Once Upon A Child, a children's clothing store, and said the city has done just that.

One owner of a new local business, Once Upon A Child, said the city has done just that.

"It's been easier here. Whether it's working with the city or contractors or hiring, the reception has been great," Dier said.

This is Dier's first time opening a business in Columbia but has opened several businesses in the St. Louis area.

Dier said he wouldn't change anything about his experience opening a Columbia business.

"It's been awesome. It's been a very comfortable environment, no red flags or challenges," Dier said.

The commission will revisit economic development, creating local jobs and transportation in more depth at the next meeting on Oct. 26.