Hacienda Businesses Benefit From a Host of Business Support Services

The businesses in the East Bay provide much more than just world-class products and services. Together, they form a community that can offer a variety of mutually beneficial elements. Making the most of that community is a specialty of a number of local and regional organizations, be it through business development, networking, or advocacy. The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, Pleasanton Downtown Association, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, East Bay Leadership Council, Innovation Tri-Valley, Visit Tri-Valley, and the Bay Area Council all work to enhance the business environment to provide greater opportunities for success.

The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce is to help local businesses both large and small through four concurrent efforts: creating and promoting economic opportunity, providing business services to just under 750 members, representing businesses to government and influencing public policy important to the local economy.

The organization's primary guide to these goals is a comprehensive document entitled, "Pleasanton 2020: A Community Vision." The document outlines the Chamber's platform on a host of important local and regional issues, including arts, culture, and recreation; education; health and human services; housing; leadership; the local economy; public safety and infrastructure.

"That's our platform to make decisions, so almost anything we do in the Chamber we ask ourselves, 'How does this fit into the 2020 vision?,'" says Dawn Wilson, member relations. "It has been formed with a lot of expert input. For example, when we were making decisions about public safety, we conferred with the chief of police, and with the superintendent of schools when we were discussing education. A committee continues to meet on a monthly basis to review the vision, and we encourage our members to participate in that process." Judging from the most recent official review of the document, the Chamber's focus has been rewarded with a long list of achievements contributing to the long-term health and well-being of Pleasanton, not just for the business community but for the city as a whole.

The Chamber also offers numerous ways for its members to save time and money while providing unique promotional opportunities. The Chamber's bi-monthly newsletter is distributed to both members as well as 14,000 homes and businesses in Pleasanton, as an insert to the Pleasanton Weekly.

The Chamber also stresses the importance of "community involvement through volunteer opportunities," says Wilson. Chamber Ambassadors attend ribbon cuttings ceremonies for new businesses and staff monthly mixers, giving them plenty of opportunities to make contact with potential clients. Perhaps the best example of business improvement via self-improvement is "Leadership Pleasanton," a program co-sponsored by the Chamber and the City of Pleasanton to develop community leaders. "It's a very valuable program. We get testimonials all the time from participants who tell us, 'This program changed my life.' It's an opportunity to get to know the leaders in the town, and it encourages participants to give back to the community by being a volunteer or serve on a board somewhere."

Learn about the value of membership and the Chamber's many programs at www.pleasanton.org or by calling (925) 846-5858.

Pleasanton Downtown Association

"The heart of our beautiful town, downtown Pleasanton, is home to over 600 businesses," says Laura Olson, executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association. True to the idea that an important part of Pleasanton's identity can be found in its historic core, the PDA provides a broad menu of events and other activities to make downtown a key focus for every business in the city - even those without a downtown address.

The PDA was created in 1984, when the City Council recognized the need to have an organization help oversee and support this special business area. The PDA operates an assessment district used to fund efforts that help develop and promote a vibrant downtown community. Operating as a non-profit organization, funding is provided by member assessments, matching City funds, sponsorships and revenue producing events. As a certified State and National 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, sponsors and community volunteers.

The PDA is perhaps best known for the massive slate of events it sponsors, along with its members, every year. In all, the group puts on over 48 events in downtown, including the very popular Concerts in the Park, Antique Fairs, Brew Crawls, Wine Stroll, Forkful, Small Business Saturday and Spirit and Sweater Stroll. Coming up later this month is the 8th Annual Halloween Brew Crawl, an event that brings together downtown businesses, restaurants, and local breweries, which takes place on Saturday, October 27th from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available online via www.pleasantondowntown.net and click on "Events."

"The next few months the PDA will be featuring many great community events. The PDA kicks off this fun time of year with a Halloween Scavenger Hunt on October 20 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in downtown Pleasanton, followed by an adults only Halloween Brew Crawl on October 27 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, November 17, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. will be our Annual Spirit & Sweater Stroll, where over 20 downtown merchants will be paired with distilleries for a festive night sampling craft cocktails and spirits. Tickets will be available on our web site starting in late October," Finally, Saturday, November 24 is Small Business Saturday, the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants in Pleasanton and across the country. More than 30 downtown Pleasanton businesses will be participating in this all-day event and many are offering special discounts on shopping, dining, and services. Balloons, stickers, shopping bags, pet bandanas, pens, and more will be given to customers throughout the day as a thank you for supporting local businesses. This year the PDA is collaborating with the City of Pleasanton and taking full advantage of this amazing day, holding a Downtown Open House to kick off the holiday shopping season. Free photos with Santa will also be offered at the Museum on Main located at 603 Main Street from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Hacienda businesses that want to get in on the fun are invited to host a booth at the Farmers' Market or become a sponsor of events and activities happening in downtown.

For more information on the Pleasanton Downtown Association, including sponsorship and Farmers' Market opportunities, visit www.pleasantondowntown.net or call (925) 484-2199.

East Bay Economic Development Alliance

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) is a cross-sector membership organization serving Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, with 28+ years of leadership and collaborative history. Our service area of 1,540 sq. miles covers approximately 22% of the Bay Area. The East Bay's 2.7+ million residents, over a third of the Bay Area's population, and almost 146,000 East Bay businesses that provide 1,173,800 jobs are located in the middle of one of the world's most dynamic economies. It is no coincidence that the East Bay is one of the nation's fastest growing regions.

As a regional economic development organization, East Bay EDA represents a broad network of local business, government and community leaders that connect local community entities and businesses to regional, state and national resources. We create accurate, original information about the region through commissioned studies and economic reports, and promote economic development efforts at the sub-region and city levels through regular peer engagement, assistance with data acquisition and analysis, legislative advocacy, alignment with business and education, professional development, direct assistance to chambers and small business, and marketing the assets of the East Bay region. Companies in specific industry sectors and at various stages of development also benefit directly from business briefings and seminars we conduct, and the regional resources we help to sustain, promote and bring into the region.

East Bay EDA seeks out diverse members who recognize the extraordinary value of our region's assets and who can help the East Bay unlock its full potential as a global leader and an unrivaled place to live and work. East Bay EDA membership includes key corporate and private sector CEOs and executive management, including representation from Fortune 500 companies and local businesses; elected leadership and key management of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and cities; the Port of Oakland; the University of California, Berkeley; all three national research laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories); California State University, East Bay; the region's community colleges; labor organizations; environmental stewards; regional nonprofit organizations; community development corporations; and philanthropic entities. In all, over 800 individuals and over 145 organizations, including 27 cities/towns, make up East Bay EDA's cross-sector membership.

To find out more about East Bay EDA, contact executive director Darien Louie at darien@EastBayEDA.org or at (510) 272-3874. The group's web site is available at www.EastBayEDA.org.

East Bay Leadership Council

The mission of the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC) is to advocate on public policy issues affecting economic vitality and quality of life in the East Bay. The organization is employer-led and represents leaders in business, industry, education, government, and the nonprofit community.

"Advocating for strong economy and a high quality of life requires us to be well-informed on the issues that impact East Bay employers. EBLC's priorities include finding ways to better invest in regional infrastructure, improve the workforce development system, and make housing more affordable," says president and CEO, Kristin Connelly.

The EBLC's bold policy platform is driven by its task forces, which meet monthly and are led by top professionals in their field focused on everything from state legislation, innovative water technology and policy, local ballot measures, consequential land use decisions, environmental regulations, and apprenticeship programs. Participation on the task forces is open to all members.

"Being involved in the EBLC's advocacy work means flexing our collective muscle to make the East Bay a better place to live and work, says owner of Tunbridge Associates and 2016-17 EBLC Board Chair, Steve Van Wart. "It means staying informed on the issues, creating a space for thoughtful dialogue, and taking decisive action."

The EBLC also provides opportunities for their members to connect with the most influential leaders in the region. Their frequent events and luncheons feature elected officials from the local, state and federal level, as well as special industry forums and workshops, an Advocacy Day in Sacramento, the East Bay Philanthropy Awards, and Small Business Awards.

"When you attend an EBLC event, you know that you will be in good company. Whether you employ two or twenty thousand - you and your colleagues will have the opportunity to connect with the right people to help your business succeed," says Partner at CFOs2Go and EBLC VP of Membership, Jodi Avina.

For more information about the EBLC, visit www.eastbayleadershipcouncil.com and follow them on Twitter @eblconline and Facebook at www.facebook.com/eastbayleadershipcouncil.

Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group

Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a business-led collective of leaders and influencers committed to connecting the businesses, educational institutions, research labs, and civic leaders in the Tri-Valley region. ITV has positioned the region as a technology and innovation powerhouse, outpacing the Bay Area mega-region in both job creation and economic growth. The Tri-Valley today is home to more than 450 technology companies and has a regional gross domestic product (GDP) of $42 billion, comparable to that of the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area.

Together with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, ITV recently published a report titled Tri-Valley Rising. The report highlights the Tri-Valley as the geographic center of the San Francisco Bay Area, both a hub for business and a highly desirable place to live. Here are a few key data points about the Tri-Valley region that the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group would like you to know, and proudly share:

  • 60% of Tri-Valley residents have a bachelor's degree or higher level of education making the region significantly more educated than the Bay Area as a whole.

  • The Tri-Valley is at the heart of the Northern California Megaregion and is geographically connected to the most economically productive regions in the world.

  • Our robust innovation ecosystem makes the Tri-Valley a hot-bed of entrepreneurship. Fueled by two national laboratories who have been leading innovation in the region for 50 years, and working alongside incubators like iGATE and accelerators like BRIIA, the region's businesses thrive.

  • The Tri-Valley's quality of life, natural beauty, tight knit communities, top-notch schools and charming downtowns are key reasons entrepreneurs and business leaders choose to locate and expand their businesses here.

This business-led organization welcomes new members who are interested in advancing the economic vitality and economic sustainability of the region.

For additional information on Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, or the Tri-Valley business region, visit www.innovationtrivalley.org or e-mail Lynn Wallace Naylor, CEO, at LNaylor@innovationtrivalley.org.

Visit Tri-Valley

Visit Tri-Valley is the region's destination marketing organization, responsible for attracting visitors to the area. Funded by an assessment paid by hotel guests, Visit Tri-Valley repays that investment by marketing the cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and Danville primarily to overnight weekend visitors, but also by raising awareness of the Tri-Valley as a destination.

With more than 50 percent of its annual budget allotted to marketing, the company has made large strides in reaching its target audience. According to the company's most recent annual report published in June 2018, travel spending by visitors reached $669 million in 2017, an average increase of 3.8% since 2012. Visitor spending supports 6000 jobs in the Tri-Valley while $69.6 million is generated in taxes by this industry.

"No wonder Visit Tri-Valley sees itself as an economic driver in the region. These strong numbers are an indication that our efforts are working, and that the Tri-Valley is becoming an attractive addition to the Bay area's visitor experience," says Barbara Steinfeld, Visit Tri-Valley's President and CEO.

In addition to the on-going Tri-Valley Beer Trail passport and the Wine Ships Free program, Visit Tri-Valley recently unveiled the Tri-Valley Ice Cream Trail which has already won two marketing awards and garnered coverage on Pop Sugar as one of the ten best food trails in America! In addition to its innovative marketing campaigns, the company is also focusing its sales efforts on attracting sports tournaments to the area and reaching independent travelers from China.

For more information on Visit Tri-Valley, call (925) 846-8910, or go to www.VisitTriValley.com.

Bay Area Council

The Bay Area Council was founded in 1945 as a way for the regional business community to concentrate and coordinate their efforts as public policy advocates. The group focuses on three interlocking goals: a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for all the area's residents. Today, over 275 of the largest employers in the Bay Area support the council, with CEOs and other top executives serving as members.

"We are business leaders committed to working with public and civic leaders to make the Bay Area the most innovative, globally competitive, and sustainable region in the world," reads the group's mission statement, and they undertake a variety of efforts in pursuit of these goals. Specifically, the council informs and mobilizes business, civic, and political leaders on the most critical issues and opportunities facing the region; develops solutions for an ambitious vision for the region's future with participation of business, government, labor, science and education; and achieves results through advocacy and committed leadership to realize this vision.

Meeting this commitment requires significant research and communication among the group's members to identify critical challenges and opportunities confronting the region and study these issues to create a coherent platform of advocacy. Once these positions have been conceived, the council works to promote understanding and collaboration among stakeholders in an ongoing effort to drive implementation of strategic policy solutions through political, business, and civic leadership.

For additional information on the Bay Area Council, call (415) 986-9777 or access www.bayareacouncil.org.

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