To enhance economic development and community image, grow the economy to achieve a competitive business climate in attracting and retaining business and link schools and business to produce a competitive workforce.
- Business Retention Program of Santa Ana Businesses
In 2018, they surveyed in person, retention teams or by phone 345 companies in Santa Ana with the Business Retention Questionnaire. The emphasis has been with the Manufacturing sector. The information gathered is given to the City’s Economic Development office for review and critical information regarding company needs within the City.
- Taste of Santa Ana – May 2018
The Taste of Santa Ana is an annual economic development event hosted at MainPlace Mall. The goal of this event is to help increase awareness of, and traffic to, our local businesses. They do this by hosting a fun community event where people get to try new things, and learn about the restaurants, breweries, and businesses in the local area.
- GROW Economic Development Conference – September 2018
In 2018, the 5th annual GROW Conference was held at the historic Yost Theater. The major themes included: current development projects in the City, workforce & education information and new retail concepts. Attendance included 19 vendors and 275 attendees.
- Uncover Santa Ana Tourism Initiative, Website (www.uncoversantaana.com) and Public Relations
Your portal to the trendiest, tastiest and most inspired side of Orange County. Where you can find a continually updated library of stories about the people, places and visitor possibilities that make Santa Ana the epicenter of the new creative urbanism. In 2018, the development of www.uncoversantaana.com website gave the city a site that focused on telling the good and positive stories of Santa Ana. The website features a event calendar that business are encouraged to submit upcoming community events.
We helped fund two, two-day familiarization (“fam”) visits by media and bloggers to Santa Ana for a first-hand, immersive experience to facilitate positive reviews and coverage of the City.
As we move into 2019, these programs will continue to be our funding focus.
Business Retention Program of Santa Ana Businesses
In 2019, the information gathered will also include a Workforce Development section on employee training needs, employment opportunities & needs, internships and what employers are looking for in talent acquisition. In addition to the City, information received will also be shared, when appropriate, with partnering organizations: Santa Ana Unified School District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana Workforce Investment Board and Santa Ana College.
Taste of Santa Ana
In the 5th year, 2018 was another successful record breaking year. There was 2,047 in attendance and 57 vendors that participated. In 2019, they anticipate another growth in participation and we hope to help contribute to the success of the event and see how it grows.
GROW Economic Development Conference (Geography, Resources, Opportunity, and Workforce)
The GROW Conference in 2020 will be in January to kick start the year off. We will be doing advanced fund raising in 2019. Program themes will include: Development projects; current & possible updates of past development projects highlighted from previous year, workforce development needs and opportunities.
Bill Fennessy, Think Together – Immediate Past Chair
Dave Elliott, Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce – President
Paula Garcia-Arensault, Habitat of Humanity – Secretary of the Board
Bill Ihrke, Rutan & Tucker – Chair of the Board
Rich Kikuchi, LSL CPA’s – Treasurer
Mark McLoughlin, J. Crain – Director
Richard Porras, AT&T – Director
Mike Weisman, Amusement Park – Director
Ron Hopkins, Doing Good Works – Director