Noozhawk: Santa Barbara County Economic Vitality Team Says Regional Collaboration Key to Growth

By Sam Goldman

With the EVT, cities can better help each other with business growth rather than compete for it, said Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Cathy Murillo.

The key to any county-level economic vitality group is robust public–private partnership, said Bruce Stenslie, the head of Ventura County’s Economic Development Collaborative. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

“We’re responsible to our neighboring cities as well,” she told Noozhawk. “We’re working together here to create economic opportunity for everyone, and then we’re responsible for housing and transportation as well. That’s what supports good business.”

As the wealthiest and second-largest city in the county, she said, “we need to contribute to this effort with resources and staff.

“I’m very concerned about creating good-paying jobs in the South Coast and in the county,” she continued. “This is the way to do it.”

In her economic profile of the county, Miyasato said the leisure and hospitality industry is the fastest-growing sector of the local economy, with the most economic growth occurring in North County, and especially in Santa Maria.

She reported that the county of more than 450,000 people had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.8 percent in December.

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