2022 Economic Development Week – Recovery and Growth
This Economic Development Week we are taking a look at what economic development is, and the work of the San Leandro Economic Development Team in 2022 to support small business recovery and future business growth.
What is Economic Development?
Economic Development programs are often behind-the-scenes and may differ from community to community, but the core goals are the same.
In San Leandro, the goal of Economic Development (ED) is to encourage reinvestment and economic growth through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and attraction of new industry, which enhances the local tax base and enables improvement in the standard of living for all of San Leandro. We work to promote a robust business ecosystem – one that is advanced, innovative and that can simultaneously compete with, and complement neighboring communities.
The City of San Leandro’s ED team serves as liaison between the City, businesses, and developers, and helping to answer questions and provide resource connections. This is accomplished by a number of means, small and large. The City offers business incentive programs – forgivable loans aimed at improving curb-appeal and commercial competitiveness – and has awarded over $500,000 to businesses in the past five years.
Economic Development work also supports placemaking through programs such as installing Public Art and revamping the Downtown Parking Program. The team also supports and facilitates strategic development projects and oversees real property disposition at key sites including the Monarch Bay Shoreline Development Project, and the Centro Callan and Town Hall Square development sites in the heart of downtown San Leandro, at Davis and East 14th Streets.
The ED team also partners with local and regional business groups – such as the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, the San Leandro Downtown Community Benefit District, the Links Shuttle, the East Bay Small Business Development Center and East Bay Economic Development Alliance – to ensure that the business community benefits from ongoing support and attention on varying levels.
Economic Development Programs in San Leandro
During the pandemic, the ED team focused on COVID-19 response, assisting small businesses experiencing hardship due to closures, reduction of sales, loss of staff, and more. Programs included one-on-one assistance and information sharing, a Temporary Outdoor Facilities Program for outdoor dining, Keeping it Local San Leandro shop local program, residential and commercial Eviction Moratorium, and providing over $1.68 million in grants to 336 businesses, utilizing City and county funds.
In 2022, the ED team is focused on small business recovery and supporting future growth in San Leandro. The Keeping it Local San Leandro Gift Card continues, and has accounted for over $10,000 in spending on local businesses. The Commercial Rent Relief Grant Program is allocating up to $750,000 to help small businesses repay overdue rent and move beyond the pandemic. Additionally, the team is working to help businesses make their temporary outdoor facilities permanent.
This summer, San Leandro will be featured in an insert in the San Francisco Business Times, highlighting the city’s legacy and innovative businesses, and the many benefits of developing and operating a business in San Leandro. Next up, the ED team will be developing Technical Assistance services slated for announcement this summer, and the establishment of an Economic Development Strategic Plan looking at how to best support businesses and growth in San Leandro’s ‘new normal’.
Stay tuned for more Economic Development news, including the Technical Assistance programming, by subscribing to this blog, or by signing up on the City’s Business Mailing List. Visit the Economic Development pages on the City of San Leandro’s website for more information. Click here for an overview of federal economic development organizations and programs.