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Judy Lloyd and Bob Linscheid on How a Chamber of Commerce Can Attract New Business to a City

From episode: Chamber of Commerce CEO's of Walnut Creek and Danville, Bob Lindscheid and Judy Lloyd - Episode 04

What is business attraction? To get fundamental on you for a minute regarding the issue of attraction, our mission basically is to attract, support, and grow business in the Walnut Creek region through advocacy, and inclusive economic and business development. Those are just words. When you work with a city the size of Walnut Creek, an economic development team of three plus people, we need to be, first of all, on the same page. Our first initiative is to promote Walnut Creek as a premier East Bay location for corporate and satellite locations, targeting finance, professional services, medical, and tech. Walnut Creek has really developed into a medical hub with a strong medical presence. We're evaluating and investigating the possibility of forming essentially a wellness corridor along Ygnacio Valley Road. We discovered that the two cancer centers that are going in here will generate between 120- and 150,000 additional square footage just as a result of those two functions. When you talk about business attraction, I think it's important to talk about jobs, and economic development is defined as the creation or retention of jobs. So we're focusing on some of the bigger roles, even though some of the smaller retail efforts are really important. Auto, the new auto industry is becoming very prevalent here. We're going to see some different things happening with the Toyota area of Walnut Creek. And so these are all about business attraction, but you have to have a unified voice of what we are as a community and we're developing that with our cities. #WalnutCreek #JaredAsch #Capstonegovernmentaffairs #WalnutCreekCahmber #DanvilleChamber

In the meantime, Judy Lloyd says we incentivize businesses who are coming into town. In partnership with the town, we have a business marketing grant program so any business coming into Danville would be eligible for the program, which offers a complimentary video and photo package. That's all town-sponsored and administered by the Chamber. Every business that's a chamber member gets its own page, which shows its videos and photos. It is a great tie-in on how we work with the city to help businesses get known.

We also run a merchant-to-market program allowing our businesses to be displayed at the farmer's market. We have also launched women's enterprise initiatives, which create a mentor program for small women-owned businesses. We work with the town largely on grad programs, and festivals like the Christmas tree lighting and a health and wellness promotion day.

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