HACIENDA ONLINE

More
Published October 19, 2004
Volume 12, Number 10



Tri-Valley Offers Comprehensive Support for Local Business

Chamber Staff TVCVB Staff Arlen Ness Storefront EDAB President
(left to right) The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce staff; Tri-Valley CVB staff; the new Arlen Ness Motorcycles facility,
built using the EDAB Industrial Development Bond program; and Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council.


Nearly any successful business owner will tell you that local business support organizations can help an enterprise flourish. The Tri-Valley has a number of such service organizations and, whether you’re interested in advocacy, business development, or networking with other businesses, owning and operating a business here can be rewarding. The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pleasanton Downtown Association, Tri-Valley Business Council, Economic Development Alliance for Business (EDAB) and the Bay Area Council (BAC), can not only increase your ability to work more efficiently as a business but increase your business opportunities.

Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce
The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce is an independent, non-profit non-governmental corporation. With offices located at 777 Peters Avenue in Pleasanton, the Chamber currently boasts 900 member businesses and organizations and has been in existence for over 50 years. The organization provides networking and promotional opportunities for members and also helps shape the future of Pleasanton by providing input on public policy and economic development issues. The Chamber also offers a number of events where people can meet others doing business in the Tri-Valley.

Mixers and functions are not all the Chamber has to offer, notes Dave Bouchard, president and CEO of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. “We recently developed what’s called Vision Pleasanton, an initiative that looks at eight quality of life issues in our community. That has been a major focus for the Chamber this past year. We are using that as the platform for how we take our positions on candidates for public office.” The Vision Pleasanton outlines chamber policies on education, health and human services, public safety, recreation and open space, arts and culture, local economy, housing, and transportation. “We have a vision about how we’re going to spend our time in supporting community efforts, issues, and candidates. Business plays an important role in the community and has provided the quality of life that we all enjoy here, so we’ve developed Vision Pleasanton to help guide community efforts.”

For more information about the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, contact David Bouchard at (925) 846-5858 or david@pleasanton.org.

Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau
The goal of the Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.trivalleycvb.com) is to provide information to visitors to the region while promoting the services of its member businesses in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon. The CVB generates and tracks leads in several markets to bring large visitor groups from all over the world into the Tri-Valley area. The CVB provides visitors with information about accommodations, restaurants, shopping, services, transportation, attractions, and events.

The CVB develops and maintains communication with council members in the four cities to keep them informed and enthusiastic about the economic contribution of the visitor industry. Members are invited to attend CVB hospitality events, the annual membership luncheon, mixers, and special events. Another benefit is a free listing on the organization's website. The CVB also produces the Tri-Valley Visitors Guide, an annual publication which promotes the Valley as a premier destination and invites visitors by evoking images of the valley as having both a small-town feel with its wineries, shops and historical sites as well as sophisticated with its lodgings, amenities and close proximity to the Bay Area. “The Guide” offers visitors recommendations for accommodations, sight-seeing, restaurants, hotels, catering, golf, galleries, and has a monthly calendar of events for Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon. The Tri-Valley CVB currently has 333 members.

The CVB also includes a film commission and a sports commission. The film commission works to bring major motion pictures and commercials to the area for filming. Movies and commercials typically bring camera crews and other staff into the Tri-Valley for several days at a time or even weeks while they film.

One thing that the CVB is doing in the area of attracting the film industry is its support of the California Independent Film Festival (www.caindiefest.com) held this year from November 4th through November 7th. “We got involved in the festival three years ago along with the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association,” says Amy Blaschka, executive director of the Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau. “What we help to do is to bring independent films from all over the country and use some of the Livermore Valley wineries as screening venues. Our part in the festival is to attract visitors to this area and to promote it. We expect in the area of 1,500 people to attend the festival this year.”

The Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau is located at 260 Main Street in Pleasanton. For more information call the CVB at (925) 846-8910.

Pleasanton Downtown Association
Downtown Pleasanton is home to more than 400 businesses. In 1984, the City Council recognized this special business area with the creation of the Pleasanton Downtown Association (www.pleasantondowntown.net). The PDA operates as an assessment district with the goal of developing and promoting a vibrant downtown community. It functions as a non-profit organization with funding provided by member assessments, matching City funds, sponsorships and revenue-producing events.

As a Main Street Community, the PDA is organized under a four-point strategy that incorporates the elements of organization, economic restructuring, promotion and design or physical appearance. Successful implementation of this strategy involves a mutual effort by the PDA staff, business owners, property owners, associate members and community volunteers. The organization’s web site currently lists over 600 companies doing business in the region. Businesses outside the Downtown area can also become members and recognized through sponsorship of community events.

The PDA is located at 830 Main Street, Suite A in Pleasanton and can be contacted at (925) 484-2199 or via email at info@pleasantondowntown.net.

Tri-Valley Business Council
The Tri-Valley Business Council (www.trivalley.org) is an organization involved in the regional issues that impact the quality of life and economic vitality of the Tri-Valley region. The council focuses on the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, and the town of Danville, as well as the portions of Alameda County and Contra Costa County that relate to the region. Founded in 1994, the Tri-Valley Business Council’s board of directors consists of local corporate executives from institutions familiar to the community including Pacific Gas & Electric, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the ValleyCare Health System.

As Tom O’Malley, president of the Tri-Valley Business Council reports, the Council has achieved a number of accomplishments this year. “In January, we released the first economic report for the Tri-Valley that outlined jobs, where people lived, how many people are employed in the region, how many work in the region, and all of the labor demographics for the Tri-Valley,” he says. “We also held our second annual Life Sciences conference, where we had speakers in from the biomedical and biotech industry to talk about recent developments.” In addition, the Business Council has moved forward on a Tri-Valley Economic study, participated in the eighth annual State Education Fair and various career forums, and began work on the Tri-Valley Housing Element Progress Report.

[webpage] In October 1999, the Business Council released its Vision 2010 guidelines, which represents an ongoing effort to define a positive and achievable future based on the shared values of Tri-Valley residents looking forward more than a decade. The Vision 2010 guidelines address issues that include land use, development, education, transportation, and agriculture. Out of Vision 2010, a number of focused efforts have begun that are designed to bring its guidelines to fruition. These include a housing advocacy coalition, a task force dedicated to improving agriculture in the area, and education partnerships with business.

For more information about the Tri-Valley Business Council contact Tom O'Malley at (925) 890-1892 or tjomalley1@aol.com.

Economic Development Alliance for Business
In September 1990, Alameda County established the Countywide Economic Development Alliance for Business (www.edab.org) to enhance the competitive economic position of the County and its 14-member municipalities. The program is a public-private partnership funded by the county, cities, special districts, labor, and the private sector. The program's principal focus is on business investment and retention, regulatory coordination, networking, science, and technology. In 1996, EDAB's service area was expanded to some of the cities in Contra Costa at their request. EDAB's mission is to improve the East Bay business climate by developing and maintaining resources, businesses, good jobs, and a high quality of life.

In the area of business development and promotion, EDAB works to streamline the regulatory process by working with local and regional agencies, as well as working toward international trade agreements. EDAB is also involved in workforce development by sponsoring a number of studies with industry that are intended to improve the responsiveness and agility of government and training to meet the workforce and business needs of the region. A third area in which EDAB is active is as a vehicle or forum for addressing regional issues, the most recent of which are jobs/housing balance and an alternative analysis looking at goods movement within the region.

“We continue to promote the Tri-Valley as an economic region—both domestically and internationally,” says Bruce Kern, executive director of EDAB. “Next month, we’ll be at the International and Domestic Site Locators Conference and we’ll be promoting the region as an area for investment. On a regular basis, we promote corporate expansion opportunities and investment opportunities in the Tri-Valley. We also work on a number of issues that are important to the region like working with the Tri-Valley Business Council and local government officials to establish an East Bay housing coalition to provide housing for our workforce. In addition, we’re working on goods movement and logistics. This is an area that is really important to the Tri-Valley since 580, as the main thoroughfare through the Valley, is becoming overly congested—not just with cars, but with trucks. We have been working for the last year to get regional attention from our planning agencies working with both Bay Area and Central Valley interests to see if we can develop some solutions.”

For more information about EDAB, call the organization's information line at (510) 272-3874 or call Bruce Kern directly at (510) 272-3874.

Bay Area Council
Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council (www.bayareacouncil.org) is a business-sponsored, CEO-led, public-policy organization representing employers dedicated to promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in the region. The organization works to address a number of key economic issues including transportation, housing and land use, energy policy, environmental quality, sustainable economic development, education and workforce preparation, telecommunications and information technology, and water policy.

The BAC strives to be a regional voice of business in the Bay Area. Partnering with economic development organizations, community groups, and government officials to collaboratively solve problems, the BAC works to extend the impact of the business community in the region. The Council is comprised of more than 275 members and enables CEOs throughout the region to work together for a better economy and a better government in which to do business. It is funded through membership subscriptions with annual dues based on company size, headquarters and the nature of the business.

“The BAC is an organization of the largest employers in the nine-county Bay Area,” says John Grubb, director of communications for the BAC. “One of our biggest claims to fame is the BART system, for which the BAC wrote the legislation, pushed through the state assembly, and got the governor to sign off on, and then funded it. We’ve helped support the extensions ever since. The BAC is responsible for making sure that issues important to the business community are at the table in the region with all of our elected officials. We bring Bay Area issues to both Sacramento and Washington DC. There’s also the opportunity for members to meet their peers and work with them on issues that affect them. We have lots of meetings with elected leaders, so members also have a lot of opportunities to influence public policy. One of the things that we think sums up the BAC is that our members are men and women of great power, but with that power comes responsibility. The BAC is a way to exercise that responsibility.”

To inquire about membership in the BAC call (415) 981-6600 or email krobinson@bayareacouncil.org.

Other Resources
The business resources described in this article only scratch the surface of what the Tri-Valley has to offer. Here are a few other organizations that may help your business to succeed.

Alameda County Workforce Investment    (510) 259-3639
Business Development Network    (925) 227-8518
Business Women’s Network    (925) 906-8177
Danville Chamber of Commerce    (925) 837-4400
Dublin Chamber of Commerce    (925) 828-6200
East Bay Women’s Network    (510) 739-1996
Hacienda Park Toastmasters    (925) 598-7793
IAAP    (925) 598-7793
Livermore Chamber of Commerce    (925) 447-1606
Northern California Human Resources Association    (925) 389-0433
San Ramon Chamber of Commerce    (925) 242-0600
Tri-Valley Business Builders    (925) 462-7534
Tri-Valley Human Resources Association    (925) 944-3440
Tri-Valley One-Stop Career Center    (925) 485-5262

 

Also in this issue ...