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Healthy City Initiative

Healthy City Initiative

SPECIAL REPORT: FOCUS ON ECONOMIC HEALTH – 2014-2015

A vibrant economy is the foundation of a healthy community

Introduction. The Emeryville Chamber of Commerce launched its Healthy City Initiative (HCI) Program in 2007. The HCI seven core public policy elements provide structure and guidance for the Chamber’s Program of Work and operations.

For 2014-2015 the Chamber of Commerce’s primary focus will be on the Economic Health component of its Healthy City Initiative Program.

Background. The Emeryville Chamber of Commerce remains dedicated to strengthening Emeryville’s economic base through a four-part program based on: (1) Legislative advocacy; (2) Regionalization; (3) Leveraging the economic strength of the East Bay through active, strategic partnerships; and (4) Marketing and promotion of Emeryville as a City that welcomes business. We believe that by continuing to focus on the Business and Economic Health component of our Healthy City Initiative Program that the Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with our City, business and civic leadership, can lead the way in controlling its own economic destiny to keep Emeryville moving in the positive direction that it has for the last 35 years and into the future.

The foundation for all of the elements of our Healthy City Initiative Program – Artistic and Cultural Health, Emergency Preparedness, Educational Health, Environmental Health and Digital and Technological Health – is based on a strong, stable and growing economic base. The high quality of life that Emeryville residents, businesses and visitors have come to expect is possible only from the creation and nurturing of a strong economic base. Emeryville’ commercial sector produces at least 70% of the City’s General Fund revenues.

The Emeryville Chamber of Commerce recognizes that we are in the throes of major economic upheaval in California. While serious challenges confront us, the Chamber of Commerce understands accepts the leadership challenge of partnering with its allies in City government and the community to chart a new economic direction for all of Emeryville.

This updated document represents the Emeryville Chamber of Commerce’s policy statement and specific programmatic elements to guide us in our work for 2014-2015.

Here are the basic program points that serve as the foundation of the updated policy statement:

• The Chamber of Commerce believes that the ability to create and enhance a high quality of life for our residents, businesses and visitors is inextricably linked to a healthy and thriving local economy.

• Emeryville’s commercial sector produces at least 70% of the City’s General Fund revenues. There are other studies that place the percentage even higher.

• The Emeryville Chamber of Commerce takes a regionalist approach to economic development and growth, working to form strategic alliances with local governments, non-profit organizations and other business associations to promote the greater East Bay as a place to locate, relocate or expand a business.

Here is a short summary of some of the major economic development events and activities in 2013-14:

The Chamber of Commerce began the implementation of our Vision 2020 and Economic Development Strategy Document which was adopted and supported by the Emeryville City Council.

The Chamber of Commerce produced a new “Focus on Economic Health” position paper which outlines more direction for the Chamber of Commerce, City and community in keeping our economy strong and moving in a positive direction in the post-Redevelopment era.

Shortly thereafter, the Chamber of Commerce established its own Economic Development Strategy Task Force which began meeting monthly to oversee the implementation of both the City's Economic Development Strategy, and the elements of the Chamber's 2020 Vision Statement. This Task Force was the impetus for the City of Emeryville to form its own Economic Development Task Force, and the two Task Forces were eventually merged and are now a full City of Emeryville Committee.

In July of 2013 the Emeryville City Council unanimously renewed its Economic Development partnership with the Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce continues to work with Paxio on EmeryConnect, a project developed largely by the City's Economic Development Department with the eventual goal of establishing Citywide broadband and digital capability, which we will then use to market Emeryville as a desirable place to open a business, and will continue to make that a major economic advancement priority for 2014-15. See www.emeryconnect.com.

The Emeryville Chamber of Commerce remains a strong and active partner with the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAM ELEMENTS
• Guiding book for reference and source of ideas: The Coming Jobs War by James Clifton.

• Actively lobby the State Legislature to enact legislation that would make it easier to create Infrastructure Financing Districts.

• Advocate as an overall program goal the maximization of tax-generating and job-generating developments.

• Continue to advocate for a complete economic analysis of prospective developments in Emeryville. A “Complete” economic analysis means projections on prospective sales, property, business license and utility user taxes; Emery Go Round assessments, Arts in Public Places fees, Measure A assessments and one-time fees.

• Establish the Emeryville Business Roundtable, a small group of Chamber of Commerce business leaders to meet several times annually with the City Manager, Mayor and City Council members in small group settings to continually communicate to key local government decision-makers the need to stay focused on job creation and an examination of other critical issues facing Emeryville.

• Continue our partnership with the City of Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to promote the West Berkeley/Emeryville Bio Corridor through joint marketing efforts and promoting BE Bio Presentations and Mixers.

• The Chamber of Commerce will participate in and serve as the liaison to: (A) The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz); (B) the East Bay Economic Development Alliance; (C) the Center for Manufacturing Excellence (MANEX); (D) the East Bay Manufacturing Group; and other recognized state and regional organizations.

• Work with our hospitality industry to ensure the East Bay is represented in all Super Bowl 50 marketing efforts.

• Continue our work with Rubicon Programs and Berkeley City College on workforce development, to ensure that our schools and training programs are producing employees with the right skills for the modern workplace.

• Exploration of international trade and export opportunities for Emeryville businesses.

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