Bill Buratto, CEO of the Ventura County Economic Development Association, has a great article in the Ventura County Star on the future of business in Ventura County.
For instance, Buratto cites the movie industry as a possible driver of revenue and industry in Ventura County:
We need to take local control of our own future and that means thinking outside the box. One example is the proposed text amendment to the county general plan that would allow conditional use permits for permanent filming on nonagricultural producing land by the entertainment industry. Our proximity to Hollywood as well as our geography and climate make us a desirable location for filming. It is a clean industry that pays well and will stimulate economic activity throughout the county.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) estimates that “one day of on-location shooting delivers on average $225,000 to the local economy.” A single day of shooting per week would bring an estimated $11.7 million into the local economy annually.
The article then cites the naval base as a major economic driver, along with the exploration of “creating an advanced defense technology cluster.” Buratto continues:
Other critical industries that are primed for continued growth and must be sustained are agriculture, bio/high-tech manufacturing, tourism and medical services. Finally, the education sector must not be ignored. Our educational institutions are important not just because of their economic impact, but because they must be strong and vital to educate and train our future workforce. This will be even more challenging as public institutions see dramatic cuts in funding.
Our focus should be on how to make the economic engines and their economic ecosystems more profitable, sustainable and poised to create more jobs.
It is difficult enough for businesses to have a strong handle on the drivers of their vertical industry across a county, region and state. It is far more difficult for a business to have a thorough understanding of all economic indicators across multiple industries, government agencies and the larger economy. VCEDA does a good job at recognizing the macro economic trends and cross-industry indicators, and communicating that to their members.
During a challenging economic climate, businesses need good information to make smart decisions. Joining local chambers and economic development agencies can be an effective way to keep an ear to the ground, develop business through a network and attain a position of strength through brand building, market share and top-line revenue.
(Full disclosure: VCEDA is a client of the web development company in which I am a partner.)