Chico, like most cities in California, was hard hit by the recession. Golden Valley Bank estimates it could take another nine years to reach the economic levels of 2007!
The need for focused, concerted and collaborative effort to deliver direct services to businesses which would result in economic growth was answered through a unique collaborative of the Chico Chamber of Commerce, 3CORE, Alliance for Workforce Development Inc. (AFWD), Butte-Glenn Community College District, California State University, Chico (CSU Chico), the City of Chico, and Downtown Chico Business Association (DCBA).
With a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Team Chico launched an aggressive, multiple phase initiative to outreach to businesses, deliver a comprehensive resource directory of services available to businesses, identify specific business needs and begin address needs and issues of key industry sectors.
Team Chico’s first year had incredible results – outreach to over 500 businesses, 10 expansions and three new locations, 1,315 job placements, four emerging “seed-funded project through a new Business Vitality Seed Fund, $2.35 in non-traditional financing of loans and grants, and an economic impact of $31.3 million to the local economy (see Annual Report). A spin-off benefit, seven other business-related organizations and the Young Professional Organization have joined the effort.
Our 2015-2016 year has keep with the momentun, from year one, producing outstanding results - outreach to over 1,200 businesses, 10 employement areas covered, 11 Community Safety Meetings hosted, and 316 hours spent walking and visiting local businesses. These business walks increased in size during the 2015-2016 year to include Ambassadors of the Chico Chamber of Commerce and department heads from the City of Chico.
The Team continues to build upon its existing programs while innovating new activities, data collection, and sector strategies to meet the changing needs of the City and the business community. Always adaptive, the Team plans to maintain much of its current programming, while adding new features in the 2016-2017 year including the potential production of a video, the use of improved technology, and an expansion on the business walk effort to include quarterly industry walks and property owner convenings.