OCBC’s Economic Development Committee, led by Co-Chairs Chris Harrington of Toshiba America Information Systems and Juan Basombrio of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, recently hosted presenters from Kosmont Companies, who briefed the committee on the “all-cuts” balanced budget passed by the State Legislature, and the impact of the Legislature’s actions on California’s competitiveness. The state’s financial woes will continue according to Kosmont, as further cuts were made to education and the courts, spending caps and pension reforms called for by the business community were not addressed, and redevelopment agencies are now forced to either wind down or “pay to play.” ABx1 26 eradicates California’s redevelopment agencies, creating a situation where agencies must pay $1.7 billion in 2011-12 and $400 million ongoing, or shut down their activities – an expensive prospect for cities already struggling with budget shortfalls. Economic development is essential for the growth and sustainability of communities; local economies cannot sustain without new private investments, tax revenues, and jobs.
Stanley Smalewitz from the City of Huntington Beach was also on hand to share with the committee some positive news from the City: in March of 2011 the City implemented its “Ten Point Plan for Local Business,” a strategic approach to supporting local businesses and assisting them in their growth and overall success. The plan includes increasing efficiency of processes wherever possible, enhancing customer service, and supporting business needs by providing information and access to resources. The City’s commitment to the slogan, “We’re Open For Business,” is an example of the good work local governments can do to proactively address the need for economic development.
Orange County Business Council is honoring local governments that are taking steps to create a more positive business environment by eliminating burdensome regulations, reducing fees, and streamlining processes, at the “Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet” awards on November 17. Click here for more information or to submit your entry. For more information contact Dr. Wallace Walrod, Vice President of Economic Development and Research.