In conjunction with interested partners, review materials in the EVSP pertaining to potential target industries, and establish consensus on initial target industry focus throughout Ventura County. The designation of target industries/clusters will draw on the cluster analysis prepared for the EVSP and will also reflect the strategic priorities of the county and other stakeholders directly involved in business/industry development.
Although capturing a major new employer into a region generates headlines, much of the hard work of sustaining economic vitality is the largely unsung activity of helping existing businesses remain viable or expand in the face of changing market conditions that affect their business, regulations, real estate conditions that may affect their ability to remain in some facility or community, or labor market conditions. Maintaining a formal system of outreach to existing businesses is critical to facilitating these retention and expansion functions. Outreach combined with industry cluster studies provide an opportunity to identify local business needs that can be addressed through collaboration with community partners (e.g., housing, information and resources for employees; career training educational institutions aligning offerings with the needs of the local business community; etc.).
Expanding firms are especially desirable within a region and particularly vulnerable to recruitment from areas outside the region. Economic development organizations may want to treat expanding firms similarly to prime recruitment targets, especially since an expanding firm is already in the region and therefore is presumed to be at least reasonably well accommodated there.
Systematic encouragement/support of entrepreneurial development in key clusters can create entrepreneurs committed to the region. A robust entrepreneurial infrastructure including business incubator space, incubator services, transitional business space for incubator graduates, angel investors and access to venture capital funds will encourage rapid growth and future expansion.
This item includes the County’s continued support of the EDC-VC’s small business lending program.
Identify logical industry targets, if not actual firms, in Los Angeles County for which spillover opportunities are likely. These opportunities would be screened for compatibility with selected industry targets for Ventura County, along with other compatibility criteria such as the level of demand on resources and other environmental implications.