An award-winning collaboration of the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce and the City of Sonoma, the Economic and Business Development Services model was initiated in 2004 to support the local economy. Over the years, we have worked to offer assistance for small businesses, streamline local regulatory processes, and improve downtown vitality.
Through a contract with the City of Sonoma and with the ongoing direction of a steering committee, the Sonoma Chamber expanded the program beginning in 2015. Current priorities include supporting economic diversification and entrepreneurship, improving connections for businesses to available resources, and facilitating the ability of employers to "hire local."
The Steering Committee meets ad hoc at Sonoma City Hall. Meetings are open to the public and the agenda is posted at City Hall.
Annual Business Survey
Each year, a survey of Sonoma Valley businesses is conducted to help identify issues and trends facing the business community. For a summary of the 2015 survey results, including trends from previous years, click here. A summary of the 2016 business survey is coming soon.
Recent and Upcoming Events
LOCAL-FEST is our annual welcome and showcase for the businesses that have opened over the past year. It's a celebration of entrepreneurship and community, with no charge to participate or attend, and plenty of opportunities to learn about the wide variety of entrepreneurial ventures in our community.
Sonoma was recently named on a list of the "Best Places to Start a Business in Northern California", and nowhere is that more evident than at LOCAL-FEST. More than five dozen of the businesses that were created in Sonoma Valley over the past years were welcomed at the LOCAL-FEST.
Sweet Scoops was among the Valley's new businesses showcased at the 2016 LOCAL-FEST.
- Assist and promote business retention and expansion so existing businesses can be successful and remain in the community.
- Diversify the economy by working with the County to identify, attract, and strengthen new and old business clusters.
- Continue to support and strengthen existing industries that have made Sonoma a world-class destination.
- Target and attract new businesses that complement those that are already in Sonoma, and are compatible with our “community character.”
- Enhance the image of Sonoma as a “business friendly” City through programs that are designed to welcome and assist.
- Work with schools, non-profits, existing businesses, and government agencies to create programs to train, support, and attract a skilled workforce.
- Support and pursue economic development that maintains or improves the environment.
Business & Economic Development Steering Committee
Standing Committee of the City Council Partnership between the City of Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce
Since January 2005, the City maintained a joint partnership agreement with the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce to maintain and enhance the economic vitality of the local business community. The basis of the partnership was to reinforce the business community through several components including the formation of the Economic and Business Development Steering Committee (EBDSC), contracting for staff to serve as an Economic Development Manager, and other programs/efforts. In June 2017, the City Council approved new agreement between the City and the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce for the period of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020 for $125,000 per year.
The Economic and Business Development Steering Committee is a standing committee of the City Council. The Committee’s membership is comprised of a City Council Member, the City Manager, the Chamber Executive Director and a member of the Chamber Board of Directors. The EBDSC meets periodically through the year.
Scope of Work for 2017-2020 Contract
The City and Chamber developed an updated Scope of Work for a continued partnership for the three years where the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce will provide Economic and Business Development Services under contract with the City.
AGENDA / MINUTES
August 30th 2019 – Economic and Business Development Services
[Agenda Packet / Future Minutes]
Here to Help:
If you're looking to grow a business in Sonoma, we're here to help. Whether you're an existing local business, a start-up, or a business considering a new location, we can assist. We'll provide you with data, connections and introductions, and information on resources, processes, and incentives.
Now in its second decade, the Economic and Business Development Services Model between the City and the Chamber has been recognized with awards from the League of California Cities and the International City Managers Association. We're proud of the way that local government and business work together in Sonoma Valley to support our community and our local economy.
We invite you to read our most recent annual report and to contact us to learn more about how we might assist your business.