Helping Cities Attract and Retain Businesses
Business Attraction and Retention
Business Improvement Districts (BID)
Do Business Improvement Districts work? Ask merchants on Long Beach’s Fourth Street, known as “Retro Row.” Members of the EDR team assisted local businesses form the Fourth Street BID and arranged for regional marketing on electronic freeway signs. The result? Retro Row has become a shopping destination for hip, urban millennials. Google “Retro Row” and see the buzz.
Other EDR BID projects include:
• Downtown Ventura Property Based Improvement District
• East Anaheim BID
• Cambodia Town
Targeted Retention (Retail, Manufacturing, Service)
Retaining existing businesses is Job One for any economic development team. EDR team members have scored remarkable successes in manufacturing, retail and business service retention projects.
Manufacturing: The C-17 Red Team (Manufacturing Retention)
Facing the threat of a plant closure with the loss of over 5,000 jobs in 2006, EDR team members led the C-17 Red Team that worked closely with Boeing to secured additional orders that will keep the plant open through 2014. The C-17 Red Team was termed the single most important business retention effort in California, and was awarded national and state economic development honors.
Retail: Worthington Ford (Retail Retention)
Cal Worthington Ford is one of Southern California’s most recognizable retailers. Located in Long Beach since 1973, Worthington Ford remains in Long Beach because of a business retention strategy developed and implemented by EDR team members.
Other EDR successful retail retention projects include:
• Circle Audi
• Toyota of Long Beach
• Circle Porsche
Business Service: The Designory (Business Services Retention)
A high-end design and marketing firm, The Designory was poised to relocate with the loss of 64 high paying technical jobs. An innovative solution to parking for Designory employees retained the firm. As the Designory web site states, “Our flagship office has moved from a quaint Victorian house to a hip downtown Long Beach location. Just steps away from the trendy Pine Avenue, here you’ll find the Long Beach team working on Nissan, Infiniti, Subaru and Bosch. Whoever said Sunday is Funday clearly doesn’t know about Ice Cream Social Wednesdays. With near perfect weather every day and the Aquarium and Queen Mary nearby, our Long Beach office is a pretty great place to be.”
TV Guide (Creative Industry Retention)
Members of the EDR team worked closely with TV Guide, a multi-platform media firm headquartered in Hollywood, to resolve issues (and secure $10 million in incentives) critical to ensuring the firm and its 150 employees remain in the region. Today, TV Guide remains a committed part of the Entertainment Cluster in Los Angeles.
Successful cluster development is a key to economic viability. EDR’s strategic partner Technoloplex played a key role in developing the San Gabriel Valley Technology Corridor, leveraging such assets as CalTech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
Sophisticated use of GIS technologies that make use of smart phone applications can enhance downtown shopping districts. EDR associates have implemented successful GIS downtown strategies.
Targeted Retail Strategies
Targeted retail strategies can increase retail sales and stem sales tax leakage. EDR team members conceived and structured a financing plan that resulted in a new Marshall’s replacing a former Roberts’s department store site that had been vacant for 13 years. The grand opening attracted hundreds from the neighborhood who celebrated the revival of a community retail center.
Other major retail and commercial attraction successes include the Koll Business Center (La Verne), Target, Best Buy and Fresh and Easy.
Helping Strengthen Business Profitability
Direct Contact with Key Firms
Regular and direct contact with key firms in a community strengthens the economic fabric of a city and encourages a business friendly environment. The EDR team members have significant experience working with key firms.
Silvestri California is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of mannequins and specialty fixtures and decoratives for commercial use. EDR team members structured a financing package that retained Silvestri and its 150 employees in Los Angeles County.
Coordination with City Officials and Governmental Organizations
EDR team members have worked directly with senior management and elected officials in multiple jurisdictions, including the City of Ventura, the City of Long Beach, and Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.
EDR teammates have also coordinated closely with state officials, including the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
Coordination with Business Groups
EDR team members have coordinated with multiple business groups, including:
• Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
• Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County
• Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
• Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance
• San Gabriel Valley Economic Development Partnership
• Long Beach Chamber of Commerce
• Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
• East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
• Valley Economic Alliance
• Valley Economic Development Corporation
• Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation
Helping Businesses Find Trained and Skilled Workers
Public/Private Referral Programs
Providing a skilled workforce and connecting people to firms is critical for job creation and economic development. EDR team members have served on Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
EDR team members have also served as regional managers for WIB business assistance efforts resulting in increased employment and business retention. EDR team members worked with the Pacific Gateway WIB, South Bay WIB, South East Los Angeles County WIB, City of Los Angeles WIB and Southeast Area Social Services Funding Authority.
Regional and Agency Collaboration and Training Programs
Coordinating the efforts of jurisdictions with regional WIBs helps to ensure maximum employment for residents. EDR team members are experienced in programs that “connect the dots” for maximum return.
Helping Cities Develop Public Outreach Tools and Programs
Communication and Marketing
Public Information, Branding and Marketing
Providing transparent, reliable and accurate information is key to public sector communication. In addition, communities in the 21st Century need to take advantage of new communication tools and methods to position themselves for success. EDR team members have successfully provided communication strategies to such key agencies as the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (LBRDA) and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). EDR members have also worked at the highest levels of government, providing press relations and logistics for the Clinton Administration and the Obama Administration, both domestically and overseas, as well as national, state and local political and advocacy campaigns.
EDR team members have extensive experience working with Spanish media, including print, radio and TV.
Media Training, Copywriting and Speech Writing
EDR team members and affiliates have provided successful media training and drafted hundreds of articles, speeches and presentations for senior management and elected officials.
Events can help define and promote communities. Conceived to enhance the Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend for additional economic development impact, EDR team members developed the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame to honor major figures in American motorsports. The event brought world-class figures to the city each year for the event, including Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. Members of EDR conceived and managed all aspects of this annual event.
Digital and Web Design, Content and Message Development, Social Media
Managing content and developing social media is increasingly important. EDR team members and affiliates have worked with the following to strengthen their communication efforts: CRA of the City of Los Angeles, RDA of the City of Long Beach, as well as numerous non-profit organizations, and political and advocacy campaigns and projects.
Helping Cities Build Enterprise Zones
The California Enterprise Zone Program can be a very useful tool for economic development in communities. EDR team members are experienced with all aspects of the program and have successfully managed three different Enterprise Zones.
Application and Coordination
EDR team members developed and managed the successful 15-year redesignation application for the City of Long Beach Enterprise Zone – an application that increased the size of the zone area by 40%.
Enterprise Zone Marketing and Management
EDR team members have managed three different Enterprise Zones. In Long Beach, EDR team members increased the amount of hiring vouchers from an average of 2,500 to over 6,000 per year – and increased revenue to the City from voucher application fees by over 250%.
Helping Cities Operate Loan Programs to Fund Projects
EDR team members have extensive experience in securing project financing for both private and public sector projects. The EDR team has developed alternative financing mechanisms to assist businesses at the county and city level, including award-winning revolving loan funds. Team members have underwritten and placed $85 million in commercial and industrial loans. Loan programs established and/or administered by the EDR team include:
• County Business Loan Program
• County Earthquake Loan Program
• County Utility Loan Program
• County Technology Loan Program
• County Float Loan Program
• Long Beach Business Loan Program
• Long Beach Grow America 7a Program
Helping Cities Negotiate Government Affairs
Navigating governmental affairs and taking full advantage of state and federal opportunities is critical for jurisdictions. EDR team members have significant experience at federal, state and county levels.
Legislative Tracking and Initiatives; County, State and Federal Relationships; Policy Analysis
EDR team members have drafted legislation and managed support efforts that resulted in chaptering and enactment of specific legislative initiatives. Examples of successful legislation include modification to finance laws, earmarks for special projects and amendments to secure tax credits.
Grant Writing and Management
EDR team members have secured over $35 million in state and federal competitive grants. EDR has extensive experience in preparing, packaging and drafting applications for state, federal and foundation grants. EDR has worked with jurisdictions, public agencies and major healthcare providers such as Glendale Adventist Medical Center and City of Hope.
Helping Cities Develop Small Businesses
New business creation is critical to a thriving local economy. One tool to encourage new business creation is a focused incubator. EDR team members have significant experience in the development and management of incubators, including the Athens Westmont Business Center, the Business Technology Center of Los Angeles County (BTC) and the City of Ventura High Tech Business Inc. initiative.
The BTC is one of California’s largest high tech incubators. Located just 2 miles from the world famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory, BTC firms have secured over $100 million in equity investments and have created over 1,500 jobs. The BTC serves as home for the Pasadena Angels technology investment consortium.