Wednesday, March 22, 2017

$45,000 annual payment for Moving Solano Forward wins Fairfield council support


$45,000 annual payment for Moving Solano Forward wins Fairfield council support

By Ryan McCarthy From page A8 | March 22, 2017


FAIRFIELD — Increasing the city’s yearly $10,000 payment to $45,000 for the Moving Solano Forward campaign to boost economic development won Fairfield City Council support Tuesday.

“We want to move forward,” Mayor Harry Price said.

The direction to staff followed a report from Robert Burris, economic development and workforce housing division manager for the city, about Moving Solano Forward.

“Think of economic development as a team sport,” Burris said.

Cities and Solano County can’t do it all on their own, he said, noting work by the Solano Economic Development Corporation. He cited plans by Blue Apron, a company that sends customers foods to prepare at home, to open a fulfillment center on Cordelia Road and bring what the city staff said will involve about 1,000 jobs in Fairfield.

“We all group together to make things happen,” Burris said.

Sandy Person, chief executive officer of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, told the City Council about the “Solano Means Business” strategy introduced at the March 10 meeting of the organization at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield.

“It’s bringing our ‘A game’ to a world platform,” Person said.

More than 4,300 new jobs came to Solano County last year, she said.

Person said that, “economic development is exceptionally complicated” and that the Solano EDC works with what she called “Fairfield’s premier staff.”

“We all have a hand in that,” she said of new jobs in the region.

A Fairfield city staff report said money is not in the budget for the increased city payment but the extra $35,000 could be added to the upcoming budget.

“For this strategy to be successful, new investment is required,” the report said.

“It is expected that the future new investment and job creation resulting from greater economic development and marketing activities will create an economic impact ‘ripple effect’ of returns to the city that will by far exceed this level of investment,” the report said.

Funding from cities is based on population.

A $453,460 grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment paid for a second phase of the Solano project and follows the first part that received $370,000 in federal money and paid consultant Economic Planning Systems Inc. for an economic diversity report.

Person said the effort began about five years ago and involves the region relying less economically on Travis Air Force Base.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fairfield payment to Moving Solano Forward may climb to $45,000

Fairfield payment to Moving Solano Forward may climb to $45,000
By Ryan McCarthy From page A3 | March 21, 2017

FAIRFIELD — A proposal for the city to pay $45,000 a year to the Moving Solano Forward campaign to boost economic development – up from $10,000 – goes before Fairfield City Council members Tuesday.
“For this strategy to be successful, new investment is required,” a city staff report said.
“It is expected that the future new investment and job creation resulting from greater economic development and marketing activities will create an economic impact ‘ripple effect’ of returns to the city that will by far exceed this level of investment,” the report added.
Funding from cities is based on population.
Money is not in the budget for the increase, but the city staff would like to add the extra $35,000 in the upcoming budget, the staff report said.
The “Solano Means Business” strategy for the region was introduced at the March 10 meeting of the Solano Economic Development Corp. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield.
Mario Giuliani, economic development director for Benicia, called the strategy a vehicle to grow the local economy.
“Let’s start our engines,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani said the “Solano Means Business” effort outlines an economic development strategy for the county. A marketing campaign and a list of industrial sites is part of the strategy.
“Solano Means Business” aims to create new jobs and attract investment to boost the $19.6 billion economy in the county.
Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez said a year ago that $823,460 in federal money for the Moving Solano Forward project to diversify the county’s economic base provides contracts for consultants, but may not benefit taxpayers.
A $453,460 grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment paid for a second phase of the Solano project and follows the first part that received $370,000 in federal money and paid consultant Economic Planning Systems Inc. for an economic diversity report.
“I sure hope that after this second phase,” Sanchez had said, “it just doesn’t end up to be an $800,000 website.”
Sanchez said state and federal grants offered cities typically won’t pay to buy land or buildings and as a result reports proliferate.
He could not be reached for comment Monday about the “Solano Means Business” campaign.
Sandy Person, chief executive officer of the Solano Economic Development Corp., said in 2016 that the new phase of Moving Solano Forward puts into place recommendations from the first part of the project to further diversify the county’s economy.
Person said the federally funded project is a phenomenal opportunity to boost economic development and help ease the burden of having 25 percent of county residents on some form of public assistance. That number has been reported as high as 30 percent.
The project includes a corridor strategy that recognizes the importance of Interstate 80, she had said.
“Our region becomes the draw,” she said. “There’s strength in numbers.”
“It benefits everybody,” Person said.
Fairfield City Council members meet at 6 p.m. in the chamber at 1000 Webster St.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Solano cities work together to market area

Solano cities work together to market area

While each city in Solano County is independently competitive when it comes to marketing its assets for business development, each city must also work collaboratively and with Solano Economic Development Corporation (Solano EDC) and private companies to leverage a broad campaign to market Solano County to a target audience.
Moving Solano Forward, Phase II the visionary marketing campaign led by Solano EDC’s project team was unveiled last week and outlines how the economic strength of the collective seven cites is powerful when harnessed and targeted to maximize economic outcomes.
Why all of a sudden is there so much focus on Solano County cities banding together to get aggressive on economic development activities? It has always been important for a coordinated approach to market Solano County on a regional, statewide and national basis for new business opportunities.
However, the recent economic downtown brought to light a lot of economic related red flags for all the cities and the county that needed attention. There is intense competition between communities and states for new economic development projects in today’s economy, and the struggle to attract and retain business is further intensified by the use of many variations of economic incentives to the potential businesses. Surrounding counties and regions are getting very aggressive in looking to recruit businesses within our county, and unless we have a strong and coordinated business attraction campaign focused on marketing Solano County and its cities, new business opportunities will bypass or depart from Solano County.
The US Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment provided funding for the county to do an economic opportunity analysis to study the challenges facing Solano County. Utilizing the services of Solano EDC and its project team, the analysis from the initial study (Phase I) morphed into Moving Solano Forward Phase II to address the initial issues identified, and develop tools and strategies to enhance a collaborative approach.
At the basic economic development level, Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Suisun, Vacaville and Vallejo all focus on elements to improve the quality of life and economic well-being for the respective communities with programs to retain jobs and support and grow the tax base. Moving Solano Forward, Phase II provides a strategic plan to showcase the attributes of each city and identifies facility types (i.e., office services, light manufacturing, heavy manufacturing, distribution), and cluster targets (i.e., advanced materials, logistics, biotech/biomedical, food processing, etc.) and sites for suitable investment.
In Fairfield for example, Green Valley Corporate Park, Busch Corporate Center, Solano Business Park, and the future Canon Station industrial area all contain land that align with the objectives of Moving Solano Forward, Phase II –namely strengthening investment opportunities and the local economy. All the sites are well positioned to support regionally significant job-creating investment. We have noted before in this column that Fairfield has water capacity to support continued growth, including investments by large water users such as food and beverage operations. Land resources well suited for manufacturing, distribution and laboratory operations are ready for development.
Moving Solano Forward, II is an action oriented mission-focused forward-thinking effort with four recommended initiatives to grow the Solano County economy and jobs and guide stakeholder activities and collaboration:
·   Marketing & business attraction: Each city has their own unique business attraction messaging while leveraging a broader campaign through consistent and frequent marketing to the target audience. Increasing lead generation is the major goal of the business attraction initiative. Prospecting efforts for business leads will target specific identified clusters in predetermined geographic markets. The more leads that can be generated, the greater the chance of landing new jobs and investment, and working in a cooperative fashion with an organization like the Solano EDC creates a greater marketing “reach” for the county and cities within to do just that.
·   Business retention & expansion: The Solano EDC will coordinate existing business retention and expansion efforts performed by respective cities through the Economic Development Task Force, host program software and the Solano Business First! Key message and program. Showing some love to existing businesses can help keep them happy and identify key issues at an early stage that may need a regional approach to resolve.
·   Competitiveness: Solano EDC will work with each city and the County to evaluate financing options for infrastructure, and market programs that help make Solano unique. There are various assets that help differentiate Solano County from other areas. For example, our natural resources and lower costs for businesses to build, maintain and operate compared to other Bay Area and out-of-state locations gives Solano a competitive advantage.
·   Resource hub: A computer-generated one-stop clearinghouse accessible to businesses for accessing data, research, industry reports, economic indicators and links to local resources and assistance will be maintained by Solano EDC. When site selectors are looking for information, it’s helpful to have one catch-all source for Solano County.
To help foster collaboration with cities, Solano EDC will present each city with their plan for enhanced services and performance measures, and with that, a proposed budget that is comparable to other economic development organizations in the United States. Team members from each city have been meeting regularly with Solano EDC for marketing coordination activities. Solano Moving Forward, Phase II is the chance for all cities and the County to take necessary action to show that Solano Means Business.
Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or email at kdumas@fairfield.ca.gov or bkmiller@fairfield.ca.gov.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Solano leaders talk collaboration, growing the economy

By Kimberly K. Fu, kfu@thereporter.com, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter

Posted: 03/10/17, 5:55 PM PST | Updated: 2 hrs ago 0 Comments

Wanted — A deafening roar of engines to signal the community’s commitment to Move Solano Forward.

Such was the sentiment early Friday at a Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC) gathering focused on growing the county’s economy.

Chairwoman Louise Walker spoke of the need for everyone to be on the same page, to get involved, to proactively and aggressively tell the county’s story.

“I truly believe that this is our time,” she said.

For a while now, the Solano EDC has been bringing experts together to come up with a game plan to help the economy progress.

Teams have since drafted a roadmap outlining next steps.

That includes a mission-focused effort involving public and private engagement to attract new business while retaining existing ones.

A one-year tactical and five-year strategic plan is in the works and stakeholder meetings and outreach will be conducted through May. Next up will be a launch of the “Solano Business First” existing program, then a possible soft launch of the “Solano Means Business” campaign.

Economist Robert Eyler, with Economic Forensics & Analytics, said 207 sites totaling 3,600 acres have been identified for potential expansion. The majority are small but many are shovel-ready.

Audrey Taylor, president of Chabin Concepts Inc., emphasized that Solano needs to be bold moving forward to compete with surrounding counties. They’re competitive and extremely aggressive in promoting themselves, she added, so Solano must be the same.

Mario Giuliani, meanwhile, pushed for unilateral support.

“When we promote Solano as a county we promote us all,” said the economic development manager and acting deputy city manager for the city of Benicia.

He remembered an instance when a Mare Island business had some issues and spoke with him about possibly moving cities. He researched the matter and, despite wanting the business in his city, advised a stay at Mare Island. He explained that was better for the business and Solano as a whole.

The Moving Solano Forward initiative is about promotion and the subsequent acknowledgment can only benefit the county, said Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan.

“It’s about putting Solano County on the map for people who aren’t in this room and who don’t know what we’re all about,” she explained.

She called for collaboration, for commitment.

“This is the now, this is the time,” she said. “Let’s get Solano moving.”

For more information, visit www.solanoedc.org.

New marketing strategy to boost Solano’s economic engine

By Ryan McCarthy From page A3 | March 11, 2017                           

FAIRFIELD — A vehicle is in place to grow the local economy, people at the Solano Economic Development Corp. meeting heard Friday.

“Let’s start our engines,” urged Mario Giuliani.

Giuliani, the economic development director for Benicia, said the “Solano Means Business” effort outlines an economic development strategy for the county.

He held a shelf to show where the report on economic strategy for the county won’t go.

“Governments are great at making studies,” added Giuliani. “We make studies of studies.”

FAIRFIELD — A vehicle is in place to grow the local economy, people at the Solano Economic Development Corp. meeting heard Friday.

“Let’s start our engines,” urged Mario Giuliani.

Giuliani, the economic development director for Benicia, said the “Solano Means Business” effort outlines an economic development strategy for the county.

He held a shelf to show where the report on economic strategy for the county won’t go.

“Governments are great at making studies,” added Giuliani. “We make studies of studies.”

But the report by the second phase of Moving Solano Forward, including a marketing campaign and a list of industrial sites, he said, and communities should move forward with the strategy.

“When we promote Solano as a county, we promote us all,” Guiliani said to applause.

Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan supported a unified effort, noting that Benicia and Vallejo are sometimes seen as more Bay Area, while Fairfield and Vacaville are aligned with Sacramento.

Solano Means Business aims to create new jobs and attract investment to boost the $19.6 billion economy in the county.

Louise Walker, chairwoman of the board for the Solano EDC and chief executive officer of First Northern Bank, said the county is positioned to advance.

“This is our time,” Walker said.

Fairfield Mayor Harry Price said after the meeting, held at the Hilton Garden Inn, that the county now has a wonderful road map that will allow communities to work together on economic development. Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine also welcomed the strategy and said such an effort has long been needed.

Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown added, “We’re actually going to be doing something.”

Steve Huddleston, vice president of Public Affairs for NorthBay HealthCare, had said in a statement promoting the meeting, “The private sector and local government come together — at long last — with a shared vision to attract new employers, retain who we have, create a workforce of the future. For health care, it’s essential to let everyone know advanced medicine is delivered here.”

Sandy Person, president of the economic development corporation thanked people – including former Fairfield City Manager Sean Quinn – for their work on the strategy.

“Sean is the one who knows where everything is,” Person said.

MovingSolanoForwardII.com has more information about the project.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Solano County polishes ‘business first’ message


GARY QUACKENBUSH

FOR NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL | February 23, 2017, 9:27AM

02/23/2017



Solano’s economic pulse

Contributors to gross county product

·        Advanced-materials manufacturing, 24.9 percent

·        Travis Air Force Base (military and civilian), 10 percent

·        Health care, 9.7 percent

·        Real Estate, 8.9 percent

·        Retail trade, 6.6 percent

·        Construction, 5.1 percent

·        Professional services, 4.7 percent

·        Wholesale trade, 4.6 percent

·        Logistics, 3.3 percent

·        Financial and insurance services, 3.3 percent

·        Agriculture, 1.1 percent

·        Information services, 1.1 percent

·        Other, 16.8 percent


Contributors to new jobs, 2016–2024

·        Advanced-materials cluster, 2.9 percent growth, 2,117 more jobs

·        Logistics, 5.6 percent, 1,189

·        Biotechnology and bomedical, 2.6 percent, 588

·        Food and beverage industry, 2.3 percent, 463

·        Countywide, 2.9 percent, 2,117

Source: Economic Forensics and Analytics



Key industries and a military base powering $19.6 billion in annual gross regional product, Solano County is increasing promotion of itself as a premier business location.


Funded by a $453,000 grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment and local funding from the county of Solano, the “Moving Forward Solano” effort is “an inclusive partnership of public–private stakeholders led by the county and the Solano EDC to develop a forward-thinking strategy based on extensive research, data and engagement,” said Sandy Person, president of the Solano Economic Development Corporation.

“Business first” is a key message of the campaign’s next phase.



It includes a robust website, serving as a one-stop information clearinghouse that will assist businesses, local governments’ brokers and site selectors. It is set to provide economic and demographic data, and dynamic mapping showcasing unique market locations, all county business parks, mega-sites and specific properties.



Tools and services will be offered to cities, including the identification of public–public and public–private financing opportunities that can be used to invest in infrastructure to attract economic activity.



Person noted that Solano is strategically located 16 miles from Napa, 22 miles from Sacramento, 25 miles from the Port of Oakland, 31 miles from San Francisco and about an hour from San Jose. The county has 2.8 million workers in the labor market, including 168,000 who commute into and out of the area, as well as 6,700 acres of land available for businesses.



Economist Robert Eyler, Ph.D., president of Petaluma-based Economic Forensics and Analytics and professor of economics at Sonoma State University, is part of a four-member consulting team for the project.



“Solano County had a strong 2016 with personal income and wages rising fueled by continued growth in the wake of the recession,” Eyler said. “With regional housing and commercial real estate prices increasing, the question is how can Solano gain from some of the exodus as workers migrate to this county from other areas? Other questions include how to identify the businesses that will come to Solano, how supply chains will be affected and the ability of the county to plan around these variables.”



Eyler said Solano has specific industries that drive its economy. A wide array of advanced-materials manufacturing, including biotechnology and petrochemical firms, is the largest private-sector contributor, representing 24.9 percent of the county’s gross product.



This large business category is followed by Travis Air Force Base, split between military and civilian workers on the base, that generates about 10 percent of the economy; health care, including for profit and nonprofit hospitals, health organizations and outpatient care facilities, 9.7 percent; Real Estate and Rental Businesses, 8.9 percent; Retail Trade, 6.6 percent; Construction, 5.1 percent; Professional Services, 4.7 percent; Wholesale Trade, 4.6 percent; Logistics and Financial/Insurance Services with 3.3 percent each; along with Agriculture and Information Services with 1.1 percent each. All other services collectively account for the remaining 16.8 percent of Solano County’s gross product.

“Retail and construction were larger contributors before 2010 and are likely to become a larger part of the Solano County economy as the recovery continues,” Eyler said.



He said five industry groups act as a foundation for driving the regional economy due to their ability to offer higher than average wages, an export market focus, relatively large multiplier effects, their “industry fit” and niche in Solano County as well as their location quotient.



Solano’s economic pulse

Contributors to gross county product

·        Advanced-materials manufacturing, 24.9 percent

·        Travis Air Force Base (military and civilian), 10 percent

·        Health care, 9.7 percent

·        Real Estate, 8.9 percent

·        Retail trade, 6.6 percent

·        Construction, 5.1 percent

·        Professional services, 4.7 percent

·        Wholesale trade, 4.6 percent

·        Logistics, 3.3 percent

·        Financial and insurance services, 3.3 percent

·        Agriculture, 1.1 percent

·        Information services, 1.1 percent

·        Other, 16.8 percent

Contributors to new jobs, 2016–2024

·        Advanced-materials cluster, 2.9 percent growth, 2,117 more jobs

·        Logistics, 5.6 percent, 1,189

·        Biotechnology and bomedical, 2.6 percent, 588

·        Food and beverage industry, 2.3 percent, 463

·        Countywide, 2.9 percent, 2,117

Source: Economic Forensics and Analytics



Since the close of the Great Recession, the Solano advanced-materials sector has experienced the greatest growth, expanding from 189 firms in 2010 to 210 in 2016. Advanced materials includes machine manufacturing, repair and maintenance; engineering and scientific services; waste management; and some logistics.

Examples of advanced-materials firms are Fairfield’s Tencate Advanced Composites, which manufactures aerospace and industrial materials, and Dixon’s Powerscreen, manufacturing equipment for mining, quarrying, crushing, screening, demolition and recycling.



Some representative businesses in the food and beverage group include Caymus Winery, Vallejo’s Craft Brewery and Wine, Critelli, Formaggi Di Ferrante, Gold Star Foods and Anheuser-Busch InBev.



Napa Valley-based Caymus plans expansion of its Fairfield bottling plant and upgrades to fermentation tanks and grape processing. Critelli fine olive oils and vinegars just opened a Fairfield facility with tasting of wine and its Sonoma Harvest Food brand. Formaggi Di Ferrante makes fine Italian cheeses in Fairfield and is adding organic products with a tasting room and restaurant. Gold Star Foods, Inc., in Dixon prepares K–12 school lunches each day for 300 school districts in Northern and Central California. Anheuser-Busch InBev is expanding its Fairfield brewery.



The logistics sector has firms such as Acorn Paper Products, which recently moved its distribution center to Vacaville from Napa Valley, and Vacaville’s ACX Global, an exporter of alfalfa hay, forage and roughage products.



“Looking ahead, labor market projections from the EDD and our own EFA calculations indicate that the advanced-materials cluster in Solano County will see 2.9 percent growth between 2016 and 2024, adding 2,117 more workers,” Eyler said.



In the same eight-year period, the food and beverage industry could grow by 2.3 percent with 463 new positions; biotech/biomed by 2.6 percent, with 588 more employees; and logistics could expand by 5.6 percent, adding 1,189 new workers.”

Gary Quackenbush is a special correspondent for North Bay Business Journal.

SOLANO COUNTY TO UNVEIL STRATEGY FOR NEW GROWTH & INVESTMENT MARCH 10, 2017

The County of Solano and Solano Economic Development Corporation will announce details of the new forward-thinking economic development strategy Solano Means Business at 8 am, March 10th at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2200 Gateway Court, Fairfield.

The focus of Solano Means Business is to grow the economy through the creation of new jobs and the infusion of new investment. On March 10th, experts will share why this strategy, why now, and outline steps on how Solano County can get on the radar screen of those firms looking scale their business in a premier location.   A key component of the presentation focuses on how “shared purpose” and “mission focused” drives economic growth through collaboration.

“The private sector and local government come together — at long last — with a shared vision to attract new employers, retain who we have, create a workforce of the future. For health care, it’s essential to let everyone know advanced medicine is delivered here. Not just for patients, but for the best and brightest who want to come here to live, play and work”. – Steve Huddleston, NorthBay HealthCare
The one hour presentation features a panel of speakers including:

Dr. Robert Eyler – President, Economic Forensics & Analytics

Audrey Taylor – President, Chabin Concepts, Inc.

Mario Giuliani – Acting Deputy City Manager & Economic Development Manager, City of Benicia

Erin Hannigan – Vice-Chairwoman, Supervisor District 1, County of Solano

Topics will include Solano’s economy, business sectors that drive Solano’s $19.65 billon economy, the strategic framework created to achieve Solano’s economic development goals, and perspectives from both the public and private sectors.  Time is scheduled for Q&A.

Attendees can expect to leave with a better understanding of Solano County’s assets, opportunities and a path forward for new jobs and investments as well as ways in which they can become involved. 

Cost to attend the event is $27 for Solano EDC members, $37 for non-members.  Registration is available online or call 707-864-1855 or email pat@solanoedc.org.

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Solano Means Business is an economic development campaign of the County of Solano and Solano Economic Development Corporation. Its purpose is to focus on Solano Means Business and its Business First commitment recognizing the role business plays in driving the local economy.  With strengths of location, industry and workforce, Solano County is the premier location for traded-sector industries looking to scale outside the Bay Area while remaining close.  Value priced industrial space, high employee productivity ranking, a large shared workforce and outstanding local education focused on careers, affordable housing and a healthy environment position Solano County as an outstanding location for work/life balance. Please visit www.MovingSolanoForwardII.com  for more information on the project.