May 13, 2021 Update
In the Fall of 2018, San Benito County business leaders recognized an opportunity to better communicate and collaborate. The Community Foundation for San Benito County convened executive board members of business organizations to meet to ascertain the goals and needs of each organization, needs of the business and greater community, identify and lessen any duplication of effort, collaborate to support and grow each organization and collaborate to fulfill their goals. These groups included the Hollister Downtown Association, the San Benito County Business Council, the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, the San Juan Bautista Community Business Association and the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County.
This group of Board Representatives named themselves the San Benito County Economic Development Partnership (Partnership) and met regularly with the Community Foundation facilitating their meetings. Partnership saw value in meeting to discuss other topics from legislative initiatives, local leadership, elections, etc. Each organization in the Partnership provided regular updates on their organization’s efforts.
In the Fall of 2019, the Partnership combined efforts to secure 5-year funding for the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County to hire staff, implement the 2017-2020 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and work to recruit businesses to San Benito County.
In June of 2020, the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County agreed to assume the role of facilitator of the Economic Development Partnership. Together, the members agreed on a well-defined working relationship, updated the list of all business organizations in San Benito County and have met monthly to hear expert presenters and deal with topics that include:
- Broadband (Sullivan/Etheric Networks)
- Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (Roberts/MBEP)
- State Legislation (Assembly member Rivas)
- Transportation (Gilbert/COG)
- San Benito County Workforce Development (Arreola/HHS)
- Emerging Development (Strada Verde and Hollister Innovation Park)
The Partnership has established working committees including:
- Broadband – led by the EDC
- Government Relations – led by the Business Council
- Hollister Airport – led by the EDC
- Permitting – led by the EDC
- Tourism – co-led by the Chamber (internal marketing focus) and San Juan Business and Community Association (external marketing focus)
In total there are 15 members including two Board Members of the participating organizations and the Executive Director/manager/coordinator of each organization. A current Roster is included below.