Riverside Develops Action Plan to Continue Momentum of Last Year

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(This article contains excerpts from the 2014-15 Economic Development Action Plan, published by the City of Riverside)

The City Manager’s Office of Economic Development (OED) collaborates with other City departments to create an action plan each fiscal year. Combining fresh ideas and important lessons learned they develop an outline of initiatives aligned with the mission of OED: to help businesses create jobs for our community. The Economic Development Action Plan is a strategic initiative intended to capitalize on our existing resources, expand and strengthen our marketing efforts and leverage our professional relationships and community partnerships. The Action Plan provides a summary of the previous year’s successes and creates economic development strategies and objectives for the current fiscal year.

The City’s social media accounts saw tremendous growth during the last fiscal year. Facebook likes have increased by more than 50% and now total more than 12,000 likes. Twitter followers increased by 67%, and Instagram has seen over 4,500 posts with #ILoveRiverside. This is a great indication of strong engagement and civic pride in the community. The ExploreRiverside.com website was redesigned and has received over 40,000 page views since it launched in March 2014. The new website features resources and tools designed to help businesses create jobs for our community by providing business intelligence and permitting information on demand for free.

The OED team implemented a new program – Business Walks – in an effort to reach more of our 17,000 businesses and gain a deeper understanding of the issues they face and discover ways in which we can assist them. From January 2014 through June 2014, staff visited 202 companies with a combined workforce of 2,249 employees.

In the next year, the Office of Economic Development team will continue to be proactive in our efforts to attract businesses within our targeted industries and help our existing business grow and thrive in Riverside. These efforts will be bolstered by the addition of several new team members to the Office of Economic Development including City Planner Steve Hayes to assist with the implementation of the Business First Program, and the recruitment of a new Agriculture Business Development Coordinator.

As the City emerges from a severe global recession, the services and support provided by the OED position the City and its business community to take advantage of an improving economy. The accomplishments of the last year are already paying dividends as more Riversiders are employed today than at any other point in the City’s history; but challenges remain. The OED is committed to build upon this momentum and contribute to improving the quality of life in the City.

To read the full report, click here.