Elk Grove Business Summit Explores Economic Endeavors

Jobs and FaceBook. Those were two of the main ideas explored at the Elk Grove Business Summit held on Thursday night at the Grocery Outlet...

Jobs and FaceBook.

Those were two of the main ideas explored at the Elk Grove Business Summit held on Thursday night at the Grocery Outlet as business owners gathered to brainstorm on how to soften the bruising recession.

Sponsored by the Elk Grove Community Connection, the summit brought together elected leaders, city officials and business owners who discussed ways for businesses to survive and thrive.

The event was facilitated by Elk Grove Council member Gary Davis who commended all the participants. “You are the civic infrastructure of Elk Grove,” Davis said.

“Tonight is about cementing one thought -- Elk Grove is laser focused on rebuilding our economy,” Davis went on to say.

After Davis’ remarks, each of the seven panelists spoke of how they would rebuild the local economy. Perhaps the most salient remarks came from Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill who said bringing jobs to Elk Grove was critical to the city’s recovery.

Echoing Gill was Steve Czarnecki, Executive Director of the Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation who noted employees spend money where they work. “People are not spending money here because they don’t work here,” he said.

As part of their efforts, Czarnecki said they are conducting a worldwide marketing effort to attract companies involved in the clean tech and medical sectors to locate operations in the city. He noted this is a long-term project and because of the recession it may take some time before businesses are ready to expand.

Black Friday blast

Another idea that stimulated discussion was the use of internet social networking site such as FaceBook. Elk Grove resident Kenny Alvarado said businesses are losing out on bringing in young consumers by not using the social networks sites.

“As a young person, I’d like to see a FaceBook blast,” Alvarado said. He went on to suggest ideas such as a pre black Friday blast.

Agreeing with this idea was Sharron Harrison, owner of the Elk Grove’s Edible Arrangements who said her company did a similar campaign on FaceBook to much success. Harrison said the campaign brought in younger customers who have never been in the store before.

The participants and panelist also discussed topics ranging from sales tax revenue to the development of the civic center.

In his closing statements, Davis said the summit was productive and that it was worth doing again. “I think we got some good substantiate ideas,” he said.

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