From episode: Pleasant Hill Councilwoman, Sue Noack - EPISODE 03
What is Pleasant Hill doing to attract new business to the city? According to Sue Noack, right now the focus is on bringing back the consumers post-COVID. During Covid, we lost a number of businesses and still have others that are struggling. We have two things we are using ARPA funds for. First, is this Pleasant Hill perks card concept. If you buy a Pleasant Hill perks card for $100, the city gives you 50 out of our ARPA funds. Therefore, a consumer has $150 in spending money, which can only be spent on entities within Pleasant Hill. The goal is to increase consumer spending locally.
The second use of the ARPA money is going directly to businesses that lack a strong online presence. The grants along with partnerships are designed to help businesses get assistance to create more of an Online presence and where applicable Online ordering. The grants are also used to increase their presence.
The other thing that we focus on is making our city vibrant so people want to move into our city, right? To do that we are keeping the roads nice. We have free parking. We don't have meters anywhere in our city at all. That's a big deal. A lot of people like to come to a city where they don't have to worry about paying for parking. That gets us a lot of people from outside Pleasant Hill coming into our town. Sometimes it is just about creating an enjoyable vibe - making the city just more pleasant. Downtown is being redone. The owners of the downtown plaza are redoing it. They intend to make it more friendly for people to pick up food and sit outside - a pleasant relaxing vibe to chat with people.
Pleasant Hill will never be a super big retail site. We aren't big enough but we can find our niche. The Coles Crossing area is a good shopping area and then up by Target and Safeway. Those are Pleasant Hill. The Sun Valley Mall is not, but further west of that is Pleasant Hill again. For those areas, we need to work on traffic flow and syncing lights across jurisdictions. That's tricky up there. Where 680 and Contra Costa Boulevard are, but trying to make those entities vibrant as well as make sure people can access them easily and get there. The challenge every city is facing is the change in how people buy things these days. Whether they go online they go to the store or work from home shift. For economic development, we have to look at those changes and see what services still require bricks and mortar. And that's what we need to attract.