Monterey Bay Economic Partnership unveils website at MCBC conference
The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership unveiled its new, visually enticing website for the first time publicly at the Monterey Bay Regional Critical Conversation Tuesday.
Far more than a website, it's a comprehensive regional strategy for attracting business and optimizing the region's economic potential through collaborative partnerships.
So far, local and state partners include the economic development departments for the cities of Gonzales, Greenfield, Marina, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside and the County of Monterey; the Monterey County Business Council, Monterey-Salinas Transit, Monterey Regional Airport and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).
Among other things, the comprehensive website lists featured properties, success stories, regional news and a wealth of data on the region's business climate and key industries. It provides vital content for site selectors: contact information, tax rates, industry-targeted information, permitting to incentives and financing options, development opportunities, a listing of the largest employers in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, and, of course, a look at all the reasons that make this region a great place in which to live and work, from its world-class wines and restaurants to its dining and special events, higher education institutions and international influences.
The site, currently in development, is expected to go live in July and was developed by Atlas Advertising, a firm that helps economic developers reach national and international prospect and site selection audiences.
In his presentation Tuesday, Guillermo Mazier, director of strategic accounts for Atlas Advertising, said the goal of the MBEP website is to create greater alignment among the activities of business, government, education, media, health and foundation/community-based efforts, to build coalitions around key community issues, develop strategies that support the development of jobs and business opportunities, work to improve the business climate to retain and expand existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses, and to work to integrate and showcase workforce services with business needs.
To succeed, according to Atlas, top regions see themselves as a product, understand that they need to treat their region as a diverse portfolio, and understand that they need to differentiate themselves from other regions.
To that end, they create alignment by having a strategy with a plan that includes measurable goals, tactics to get there and accountability, and they have involved local partners and business leaders in the process.
In addition, top regions invest in local relationships with business and government, with regular meetings with economic development leaders, private sector leaders, and they are conveners on issues of regional significance, such as marketing, workforce, transportation/infrastructure and policy.
Says Mazier, it comes down to telling the story of their regional portfolio, rather than that of individual companies or cities, with the goal of building relationships and results.
The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership website was launched to promote the Monterey Bay Region as a top-tier location for economic development and investment, in order to create new business opportunities and a dynamic job base. The partnership consists of public, private and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz, united in the vision to increase prosperity and enhance the quality of life for all citizens.
Bud Colligan: 'Leveraging regional strengths' key to sustainable regional economy
Leveraging demonstrated regional strengths and investment in high-growth clean companies are among the keys to a more vital and sustainable regional economy for the Monterey Bay, according to Bud Colligan in his keynote address Tuesday at the Monterey County Business Council's second annual Regional Critical Conversation.
Colligan, the founder and CEO of South Swell Ventures, a private investment firm in Santa Cruz, and partner at global venture capital firm Accel Partners, spoke on "Bringing It Home To Monterey Bay" at the June 24 conference at the Monterey Marriott.
Colligan, who helped launched the Macintosh personal computer and co-founded Macromedia, shared his vision of a diversified small-company economy, leveraging distinct regional assets, while preserving and enhancing the region's environment, with equity investment to create high-growth clean companies around core strategies, and loans and programs to grow hundreds of new small businesses, which he described as "the lifeblood of the economy."
The goal, he said, is to generate jobs and better community services while preserving the region's beautiful environment.
And in the Monterey Bay, there's already plenty to work with: Agriculture, the region's largest industry, could provide an advantage for companies producing food products, and the region already supports 24 marine science institutions, which generate a combined $300 million a year. The region's ocean, redwoods, mountains, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Pebble Beach and a world-class aquarium are vital links its tourism and eco-tourism industries:
An abundance of local tech talent and the Monterey Bay's proximity to Silicon Valley, innovative gaming companies and the UCSC Institute and Genomics Browser could also be counted as distinct regional assets, as could the region's educational institutions, wine industry and more.
But the smaller size of local firms remains tailored to the size of the community, he said, helping to preserve and enhance the environment. Local jobs and smart growth equal less pollution, while the increased tax base generated by those companies helps to pay for public services.
Colligan described an entrepreneurial eco-system, in which there exists an interrelated chain of talent, intellectual property, capital, grass-roots eco-system, company spin-offs and cross-fertilization, attraction of top talent, and college and universities.
While small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, according to Colligan, a lack of financing often impedes business success. Underscoring the importance of access to capital, he cited stats that demonstrated 40 percent of Californians have less than $500 in the bank, while 50 percent of businesses fail due to lack of financing.
To address those needs, his own Central Coast Angels aims to profitably invest in high-growth businesses on the Central Coast to grow jobs and economic outcomes for the region. Since its founding last year, the group has granted $1.1 million in loans to local start-ups.
Colligan also spoke of the role Small Business Development Centers play in helping to create jobs and provide counsel to entrepreneurs on everything from business plans to financing and marketing strategies.
Also cited as a vital asset in helping build stronger local economies was the Monterey Bay Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) . Established in September 2012, it now serves counties across central and northern California, assisting small businesses in obtaining and performing under local, state and federal contracts, and offering confidential procurement technical assistance to businesses at no cost.
'Get Connected' aids digital literacy
Twenty volunteers including those from Salinas High School, the community, and Loaves, Fishes & Computers were on hand to assist at the Get Connected Central Coast event last weekend. Monterey County CIO Dianah Neff, former interim CIO Dave Dalby (now retired) , and UCSC's Jim Warner were also on hand to assist project directors Arlene Krebs (CSUMB) and Maggie Melone (Hartnell College) with the event logistics.
The Get Connected Event is a project of CSU Monterey Bay's (BCM) Wireless Education & Technology Center, in partnership with Hartnell College (BCM), the Monterey County Office of Education, Loaves, Fishes and Computers, and the Central Coast Broadband Consortium.
Pictured, above, CSUMB student work assistant Michael Sarmiento in the TechMobile at last week's event, and an exterior of the TechMobile. Photos by David Duty.
Monterey College of Law creates scholarships for Boys & Girls Clubs alumni
Monterey College of Law (BCM) is establishing a scholarship program for alumni of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County.
Starting this fall, MCL will provide a full-tuition law school scholarship to an alumnus or alumna of the Monterey County Boys & Girls Clubs for each of the next 10 years. The law school also will establish a similar scholarship program with the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz.
Mitchel Winick, MCL dean and president, made the special announcement during the Boys & Girls Clubs annual community breakfast at the club’s Seaside Clubhouse on Thursday.
“As a community law school founded in 1972, we share an important mission with the Boys & Girls Clubs by providing quality educational opportunities for local students,” Winick said. “This is a unique and exciting opportunity to recognize special students from our community who have worked hard and earned the chance to achieve their dream of becoming a lawyer.”
Donna Ferraro, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, said, “This program allows a student to explore their passion of law and service and claim their future.”
Winick placed the value of the 10-year scholarship commitment at more than $750,000.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County and the law school will work together to review scholarship applicants. Anyone interested in the Monterey College of Law scholarship program should contact Mary Dawson at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County at 394-5171. Dawson is a graduate of the Monterey College of Law.
Read the full story online.
Source: Salinas Californian
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