Riverside Economic Development Celebrates Continued Success; Establishes Priorities for Further Progress

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

On April 23, 2013 Economic Development Manager Larry Vaupel provided the Riverside City Council with an update on the current Economic Development Action Plan, as well as outlined proposed priorities to include in 2013-2014.

In prelude to the presentation, City Manager Scott Barber reported that at a recent event he had provided Mike Rossi, Senior Jobs Advisor for California’s Office of the Governor, with the numbers that Riverside had achieved in Business Attraction and Retention.  In response, Rossi referred to the team in Riverside as “Rockstars”.

Recent successes highlighted by Vaupel included the expansion of Riverside Community Hospital expansion (creating over 400 new direct medical jobs and hundreds of construction jobs) and the recruitment of Hayneedle.com and World Kitchen (adding a combined 300 jobs and future sales tax revenues). In total, projects in which the Office of Economic Development assisted have retained or attracted over 2,300 jobs and helped to fill over 1.2 Million square feet of commercial space.

Vaupel also noted that the technology industry has grown over 18% in last ten years, earning Riverside the recent title of #2 Tech Hot Spot in the nation by Forbes. Other successes included an expanded web presence and increased exposure in the media, helping to tell Riverside’s story and provide businesses with important information, updates and resources that will help them create jobs for our community.

Over the next several months, the greater Riverside team (includes its strategic partners) will continue efforts to intelligently grow the local economy. Organized by the four pillars of the Seizing Our Destiny vision (Intelligent Growth, Location of Choice, Catalyst for Innovation and Unified City), the plan will provide initiatives in marketing, business attraction & formation, and business retention & expansion. Some of the priorities to be included in the 2013-2014 Economic Development Action Plan noted by Vaupel were:

  • Continue work to develop a business incubator in collaboration with local universities;
  • In partnership with StartUpIE, help to establish a co-working space for start-ups, entrepreneurs and freelancers;
  • Develop a business attraction plan to capture the spin-off activity from UCR’s new School of Medicine;
  • Continue to market Riverside as a Location of Choice, capturing the future opportunities enabled through the completion of the Riverside Convention Center expansion, as well as Riverside’s other world-class facilities;
  • Develop a new Strategic Marketing Plan for the City;
  • Continue real estate broker outreach;
  • Increase focus on foreign trade and investment;
  • Identify local sourcing resources to help companies find vendors and suppliers in Riverside; and
  • Promote the “Business First” philosophy and establish a renewed focus on customer service and frontline training for personnel.

“We don’t believe our best days were before the recession in 2007,” stated Vaupel. “We believe that our best days are before us and this plan and these initiatives will help us create a greater and more prosperous future for the city of Riverside.”

The final plan is anticipated to go before City Council for review and subsequent approval in late May.

To watch the full City Council Workshop presentation, click here (Item #4).