2. Economics

While there have been many challenges facing our City and our Country over the past several years I feel it is the job of local Government to step up to do everything it can to help our local economy prosper. A healthy business economy means jobs for our residents. Without job creators there will be no jobs. After a lot of thought and research I came up with the Economic Development Plan I believe will assist our City in securing a brighter economic future. Some items in the plan may or may not be feasible due to unforeseen factors, but it is my goal to work on each item with my colleagues to implement any and all that will move our local economy forward.

ECONOMIC STRATEGIC PLAN
“WE WANT YOUR BUSINESS CAMPAIGN”

  1. Create a strategic economic development program for Simi Valley incorporating all of the below issues, as well as appropriate current programs, into one coordinated plan.
  2. Develop a campaign slogan such as “Simi Valley a great place to live AND work”.
  3. Develop on-line permits so that homeowners, property owners, and contractors can use this process and not have to visit City Hall to get their permits.
  4. Develop a coordinated, user-friendly development process such as the state-of-the-art process developed in the City of San Diego, which takes homeowners, property owners and contractors step by step through the development process. This process is precise so as to reduce uncertainty or delay.The 7 steps are:1) Project Definition
    2) Sign Information
    3) Discretion and Review
    4) Plan Review
    5) Permits and Approvals
    6) Inspection
    7) Occupancy
  5. Produce a regional marketing plan to attract Southern California businesses and professionals to the City.
  6. Advertising in key trade journals to highlight that Simi Valley, with its good quality of life, is a great place to live, work and do business.
  7. Staff will review and make recommendations to the City Council on the advisability of securing the services of a business recruitment consultant on a commission basis.
  8. Council and staff will review the potential for creating a blue chip high-technology center in Simi Valley.
  9. Develop a conceptual plan to support entities that generate high sales tax in the City.
  10. Commission the California Lutheran University Department of Economics to conduct and report on a comparative study by students between Simi Valley’s Business Climate and those of surrounding cities including specific information on each community’s taxes, fees, rates currently charged to businesses and any incentives currently offered to new businesses. Such analysis should consider business taxes, utility to user tax rates, sales and property taxes, among others. We should also factor in economic incentives, transportation amenities, development impact and extraction fees, special zones, and other economic development factors.
  11. Establish and widely publicize a dedicated telephone number and email as the Business Relocation Hotline. This Hotline would receive and monitor data regarding citizen/business comments about possible local businesses considering relocating out of or into Simi Valley. Assign knowledgeable staff to take calls/emails on that line and follow-up appropriately.
  12. Update the City’s Economic Development website to improve effectiveness. Our web page needs a makeover. It needs to be more vibrant. It needs to strongly speak out and tell businesses why we want them here and why they should come here vs. somewhere else. Offer advertising to Realtors and relocation companies on the site for a nominal fee if feasible (i.e.: Helpful businesses who make it easier to relocate to Simi Valley).
  13. Establish a volunteer Ombudsman Program that compliments our current single City staff person. These Business Concierges will walk individuals through the development process.
  14. Direct staff to report to the public and City Council at one Council meeting each month about its recent economic development activities.
  15. Re-evaluate all current economic development committees for overlap and effectiveness over the last five years (In progress).
  16. Improve the visibility and location of signage for car dealers and the mall on the 118 freeway as soon as possible.
  17. Regularly visit with key Simi Valley employers and ask their advice on attracting their vendors to Simi Valley while also making sure they do not intend to move themselves.
  18. Establish a tiered business fee plan scaled over the first 2 to 5 years for new businesses moving to Simi Valley. Consider fees to be paid in installments and allow tenant or property owners to make some improvements in stages rather than all of them immediately.
  19. Partner with our neighboring higher learning institutions, California Lutheran University and Moorpark College, to develop programs to meet employment training needs. Examples of potential training needs these institutions can assist our businesses with are:
    1) Modularized work-related skill training courses;
    2) Customized on-site classes and seminars to meet specific training needs;
    3) Employee assessment services;
    4) International trade seminars and technical assistance;
    5) Workplace skills and displaced worker services, including career exploration, planning, resume preparation and interviewing skills and intensive short-term vocational training.

    The goal would be to join with these neighboring institutions to provide a seamless service system for both employers and job seekers.

  20. Coordinate with Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce to conduct Business Walks to identify at-risk struggling companies and follow-up to connect them to resources. Feedback from this program will result in the City’s increased outreach to our business community.
Join Bob in supporting organizations that are making a difference in our community
Boys & Girls Club of Simi Valley Rotary Club of Simi Valley YMCA of Southeast Ventura Boy Scouts of America Simi Valley Community Foundation For The Troops
The Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation Free Clinic of Simi Valley The Samaritan Center Simi Valley Education Foundation Simi Valley Police Foundation Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center