Sacramento, California - The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy (JEDE), chaired by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), continues its review of programs administered by the Governor Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).

“Today we continue our dialogue with GO-Biz about how state programs support California's dominant and emerging industries, as well as how they meet the economic development needs of historically underserved areas,” said Assemblyman Garcia. “Entrepreneurship can serve as a very powerful tool for strengthening communities and creating wealth.  I appreciate GO-Biz's commitment to business development in lower income areas of the state, including the Imperial Valley.”

This hearing was part of a series focused not only on GO-Biz, but on the foundations and best practices for oversight of state programs and agencies by the Legislature. “Oversight is essential to ensure state resources are used in the most impactful ways to grow our economy and serve disadvantaged communities.” Garcia said.

JEDE's program review hearings are organized around four policy themes:  small business assistance; international trade; innovation, and general business assistance.  Presentations by GO-Biz included:

  • California Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit
  • Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Unit
  • California Business Investment Services Program
  • Permit Assistance Unit
  • California Competes Tax Credit

Panorea Avdis, the Director of GO-Biz, opened her presentation by outlining three programmatic changes GO-Biz is making in conjunction with JEDE's collaborative oversight process.  These changes represent a shift in focus by GO-Biz toward serving lower income areas of the state.  New initiatives include a Jump Start to Wealth program for microenterprises seeking capital; special budget incentives for Small Business Development Centers that reach-out to historically underserved small business demographics (women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned); and modifications to the California Competes Tax Credit Program to increase opportunities for applications from high poverty and high unemployment areas.

Dan Ripke, Director of the Northeastern California Small Business Development Lead Center, discussed entrepreneurship training needs and Jan Roos, Partner at The Urban Hive, provided insights into the rebuilding of the Sacramento iHub.  Michael Shaw, California Manufacturer and Technology Association, discussed the need for an economic strategy that could tie together and guide the state's economic activities.  Diane Richards, with the City of West Sacramento, provided specific examples of business attraction activities supported by GO-Biz.

Outcomes from these hearings will be used to develop profiles on which programs are best suited for various economic development situations, including those that assist businesses start-ups, high technology firms, and distressed communities.  Among other uses, these profiles will be available to the Legislators when servicing their constituents.

The JEDE is the policy committee in the California State Assembly responsible for reviewing policies and legislation related to small business development, international trade, and other economic development-related issues.