Economic Development is one of the most exciting areas to work in.  This role has many valuable moving parts in ensuring a strong community financially.

Education – This is an overview of our students in Santa Maria school system and what kind of education or pathways are provided to put them straight into a skilled position or see them in a successful college setting. This is where knowing the community and its current and future needs plays a huge role in long-term success of our region.

Labor force –Looking at the types of companies in the Santa Maria Region and focusing on the types of jobs to keep those industries and companies filled with the skilled workforce needed for success.

Industry/Manufacturing – Researching the industries and types of manufacturing located within the Santa Maria region and supporting those companies by education, workforce, and ancillary/supportive service businesses, keeps them with employees and services needed for their success and longevity.

Retail – Ensuring we have plenty of options for our residents in Santa Maria and for those working in the community to choose from, keeping sales tax revenue within the city.

Dining – Having plenty of dining options encourages residents and businesses to stay in the area and potentially settle in the Santa Maria area.

Housing – There needs to be a good balance of housing for the amount of services, careers and jobs to keep residents and attract new residents and companies to locate to Santa Maria, providing consumers and a workforce.

Development & Growth of the region – This entails planning for future growth, accessing inventory of space within city limits, zoning of that space and targeting companies/industry/housing for that space in coordination with its surrounding amenities.

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber helps celebrate the grand opening of Buffalo Wild Wings, one of the new businesses in Santa Maria. The Santa Maria Chamber’s Economic Development department plays a large role in finding new businesses to bring to the Santa Maria Valley community.

Sales Tax Revenue – Keeping Santa Maria as safe and beautiful as possible.  Every purchase made that is taxed within Santa Maria; ensures Santa Maria the opportunity to provide the many services the city has to offer.  Next time you make a major purchase, try to do it in Santa Maria, if the store/or vehicle you purchase from is not in Santa Maria please let me know so they may be placed on my radar to eventually try to have them here in the community.

Retention/support for existing businesses – Existing businesses need help and support with growth, relocation, and sometimes the smaller aspects of business are a need for them as well.  Economic Development is to ensure that those exiting businesses stay in business.  Supporting those existing businesses is to help them stay in business and thrive!

Attraction/Marketing – We have empty retail spaces and land with opportunities to bring companies to Santa Maria, to do so, we must be able to market our city and all it has to offer for those potential businesses to place us on their radar. Having a great marketing piece that tells the story of our city and speaks to those companies as being a place for their next location is key to our long term growth and the community’s financial longevity.

Relationships with Brokers, Land Owners, Business Owners, Community Leaders, & Stakeholders – Building and further developing relationships is key with being able to plan, communicate and understand needs, availability, and desire of what is possible. Being in the know, helps facilitate the what, of next steps to deliver and produce a well thought out plan for growth.

Placing many puzzle pieces together to bring a strong financial community to a long-term sustainability is the ultimate goal of planning and strategizing in the area of economic development. Economic Development is the ability to make everything come together ensuring the long-term viability of a community/region that is strong and self-sustaining for years to come.