The Economic Vitality Strategic Plan is a comprehensive document outlining a course of action for the overall economic development in Ventura County. The EVSP encompasses six strategies designed to enhance the overall economic development of the County of Ventura. The County has deliberately chosen to call this an “economic vitality” plan, instead of an economic development plan, because the distinction conveys the tone of the County’s anticipated roles in championing the local economy. These envisioned roles stem from several guiding principles:
- Emphasis. Economic vitality efforts are more likely to place primary emphasis on “growth from within” (i.e., supporting the retention/growth of existing businesses and encouraging entrepreneurial development), and less emphasis on business attraction (i.e., recruitment of external firms).
- Foundations. Economic vitality is about more than marketing and business development. Long-term success at business development requires sustained attention to the “foundational elements” that make business growth feasible. These foundations include physical and social infrastructure, workforce development, access to business capital, adequate housing options, recreational amenities and quality of life, and a business-friendly regulatory environment.
- Collaboration. The County is firmly committed to continuing its excellent working relationships with a variety organizations/partners that directly or indirectly influence economic vitality. In this regard, the County does not expect to lead most collaborative efforts, but to focus its attention on supporting/complementing the work of its partner organizations (including individual municipalities).
- Unified message. Within this collaborative framework, it is understood that individual organizations will have different constituencies, priorities and corporate cultures. Nevertheless, in terms of both the County’s public image and the programmatic substance of its economic vitality initiatives, it is critical that Ventura County have a unified vision for economic progress. A key objective of the EVSP is to strengthen this unified “voice.”