The middle of this month, businesses will have another voice speaking for them at City Hall. John Skidmore will be on the job April 18th. “First goal is to advocate for businesses and to help improve processes. The second is to help facilitate connections for businesses.” Bend City Manager Eric King says John Skidmore will be the business advocate. “That can help improve the City's reputation and the perception that we are not business friendly. We defininitely working really heard to change that. I think John's a big part of that.” King says Skidmore will also help tie together efforts to jointly promote tourism and business recruitment. He says the City has joined with Visit Bend in this effort. There have been a couple of dozen inquiries in the last couple of months. King says at time he expects Skidmore to challenge the City over specific issues to ensure the climate is business friendly. Skidmore has seven years of experience as a developer in Bend. In the last two years he was the Community Development Director in Jefferson County. Skidmore will also report to the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board.