For Chula Vista, CA residents, the South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) is a nonprofit organization comprised of advocates of the area's public and private interests, encouraging business development and growth. The organization was developed in 1989 by a group of San Diego business and community leaders that wanted to encourage development in the area through various channels.
The SCEDC now has a vast group of board members, council members and businesses that act as contributors. The group's record, especially over the last year, shows how successful the organization is at achieving their goals, says Cindy Graves, CEO.
"In the last decade, we have assisted with the creation of over 7,000 jobs; actively supported major projects in south county, including the Chula Vista Bayfront; created the white paper and provided continuous support for the Cross Border Terminal; [and] was instrumental in conveying the need for a new border crossing," Graves says.
Graves explains that the group of people working towards SCEDC's mission understands the amount of opportunity there is in South County. Part of the SCEDC's job is to ensure that South County has a voice in the area to acquire funding for projects and even to reduce wait times at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Other forms of assistance for South County include business outreach. This program allows an economic development specialist to visit specific businesses to help train and hire employees, provide tax incentives and low interest loan programs, and make sure these businesses are taking advantage of other assistance programs.
Other services through SCEDC include project management, technical assistance, permit processing for businesses, financial assistance, tax credits, and marketing and public relations services.
"Together, we are stronger," Graves says. "Our members understand the future of the region and they know together they can realize the potential south county has. They pull together to seize opportunities and ensure various projects come to fruition. Our members benefit by receiving monthly updates from the government entities and chambers on the latest business opportunities, issues impacting economic prosperity and are educated on a variety of topics throughout the year."