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Metro Chamber applauds Lt. Gov. Newsom’s new plan to grow business

The Sacramento Metro Chamber applauds the much-needed economic growth plan for the state of California released today by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. The plan incorporates principles for state regulatory reform long-espoused by the Metro Chamber and supports the chamber’s long-practiced strategy of regional economic collaboration to promote business growth.

In February, business and government representatives from across the state gathered at the Metro Chamber to discuss reform of the state’s regulatory system and permitting process. Later that month during the chamber’s State Legislative Summit, Newsom told chamber members that their legislative agenda provided a long-needed list of specific reforms.

“Our extensive efforts to reach out and partner with state officials this year focused on simplifying, aligning and eliminating redundant permitting and regulatory processes statewide,” said Vice Chair of Public Policy Maggie Townsley of ICF International. “Newsom rightly calls for the state to streamline the regulatory system and make it easier to navigate: Speed and agility are needed to compete in the global economy.”

One of the hallmarks of Newsom’s plan is its recognition that the state’s role must be anchored in regional economies that are the engines for growth and aligned to build on regional strengths. Moreover, Newsom noted that “model practices” from different regions can be scaled to state level.

“Much of what the plan calls for is already part of the Sacramento region’s collaborative DNA,” Townsley added. “Take for instance his call to build on industrial strengths. To do this, the Metro Chamber has been working to enhance how the region’s powerhouse sectors contribute to the six-county economy. Over the last two years, its Health Care & Biosciences Impact Report and Education Impact Report have documented the $33.5 billion and $9.6 billion contributions, respectively, that these sectors contribute to our region’s economy.”

Another example of the collaboration and use of regional best practices that Newsom outlines will be found at the chamber’s Aug. 26 State of the Region Forum. There, a roadmap to a regional industry sector plan will be released. Further details of the event can be found at metrochamber.org/events.

The Newsom plan also calls out Sacramento region’s No. 3 status among the top 100 metro areas in the nation for its share of clean economy jobs in 2010.

“Getting to that top spot has been a multi-year effort of regional partners like the Metro Chamber, Valley Vision and the Green Capital Alliance,” Townsley said. “Here again is an example of what Newsom is talking about: Letting regions focus on finding their sweet spots in jobs and business growth and having the state support business by streamlining permitting, reducing regulations and providing new incentives.”

Other examples of regional best practices are the chamber’s Metro Pulse program of 18 public and private sector partners across the six-county region and popular activities like the business walks, Townsley noted. “These are new ways of working that Newsom is talking about. To become competitive again, we have to collaborate and focus what works for our regional economies.”

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