One of my priorities since taking office has been to encourage Economic Development and investment in our Downtown and throughout the City. We have made a lot of progress, but there is much more work to do.
That's why I've proposed an important step towards that goal: Create a New Economic Development Officer position focused on business recruitment and retention. It's hard to believe that a city of our size does not have an Economic Development Office, or a person solely dedicated to strengthening our local business climate.
I commend our Mayor and our City Manager for their incredible work to make Long Beach a more business friendly city. This new officer will augment the great work that is already being done, and expand our reach as we become more aggressive with business recruitment in the technology, green, and creative sectors.
Long Beach once had a robust Economic Development Bureau before it was eliminated a few years ago. This new Economic Development Officer can expand beyond its previous role, to take a more active role as a liaison to business, and to serve as a business advocate at City Hall. If a business owner is experiencing obstacles along the way to opening a business, then I expect this new officer to step in and cut the red tape.
It's vitally important that the City takes a proactive role in bringing new businesses to Long Beach and maintaining the businesses we already have, and with the right person in this position, we have an opportunity to really help the City by creating jobs and expanding our tax base.
Thanks to my colleagues, Councilmembers Gary DeLong, Patrick O'Donnell and James Johnson, for cosponsoring this measure.
I look forward to seeing this position filled next year, and supporting the new Officer in building a strong vibrant economy for Long Beach.