Mayor Garcia Announces Beginning of Economic Development Blueprint
2016-10-19 · By Editor
In response to a request by Mayor Robert Garcia, the Long Beach Economic Development Commission will create an Economic Development Blueprint to support the creation of businesses, well-paying jobs, and increased economic activity. The plan will be based on data gathered by Beacon Economics and will eventually come to City Council for adoption.
“Long Beach has seen tremendous growth and increased prosperity over the past few years, and the Blueprint will ensure that growth continues and that this prosperity is shared by all,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Our Economic Development Commissioners bring great skill and experience to this process, and I want to thank them for the hard work they are doing on behalf of the city.”
In 2015, the Commission was charged with creating the Blueprint. The City tasked Beacon Economics, LLC, with developing a report to provide timely data and background about the City’s economy, workforce, and residents. The Economic Development Support Analysis has been completed, and will serve to inform the creation of the Blueprint, and contains metrics to establish economic development goals and track progress.
The Analysis shows that the Long Beach economy has grown steadily.
Unemployment reached a six year low in 2016 and stands at 5.8%. The City added 10,400 new jobs in the past two years, and issued 1,912 new business licenses. And tourism is providing record returns, with $300 million in economic activity annually. Wages and employment have both significantly surpassed pre-recession levels.
Looking at downtown, Beacon’s report also found that in the past two years more than 638,000 square feet of retail, office and commercial space have been built, and more than 5,100 new residential units have been built or are currently in development.
Leading the way on job growth have been the professional, science, technology and management sectors, closely followed by education and health, and leisure and hospitality.
Beacon’s analysis also notes that 77% of Long Beach residents are employed outside the City.
“We are pleased that Mayor Garcia has asked us to perform this important work for the City,” said Commission Chair Randal Hernandez. “We are looking forward to creating a plan that will strengthen the local economy and ensure that economic growth benefits all residents.”
Ralph Holguin, CEO of RMD Group, which hosted the announcement of the Blueprint creation process, is also an Economic Development Commissioner. “I was able to grow my small business into a major Long Beach brand, and I am glad to assist the Commission and the City in supporting other local entrepreneurs.”
As part of the Blueprint creation process, several public meetings will be held.
A presentation of the Economic Development Support Analysis will be on the agenda of the Economic Development Commission tonight at 4:00 P.M. on the third floor of City Hall.
The Commission will meet again next Tuesday, October 25 to continue discussion of the Economic Development Blueprint.
More information about the Blueprint and the Analysis can be found at www.longbeach.gov/blueprint.