Clearfield City’s 10-year Economic Strategy

From www.clearfieldcity.org

Do you hear the buzz? It????????s not loud, just a background buzz… slowly building momentum. People are commenting about the things they????????re hearing about Clearfield City. And, it????????s good stuff!

When attending city council meetings, staff meetings, visiting the Clearfield Aquatic Center or the city building you not only see the banners, but hear elected officials and staff frequently referring to the city????????s Vision 2020 plan. This plan helps staff and elected officials measure our success as a community. (The updated Vision 2020 plan can be viewed on the city website at www.clearfieldcity.org).

In January, the City Council discussed updating the Vision 2020 plan, an important process necessary to ensure that the plan is relevant and responsive to the current economic, social and governmental environments. An open house was held in April to present those updates to the public, and receive public comments and feedback. The City Council approved those updates at their August 14 session.

During the updating process some goals, strategies and tactics were rearranged, revised or added to the Vision 2020 plan, highlighting the importance of economic development.

??????The importance of economic development became more evident in the updating/review process,?????? explained Assistant City Manager JJ Allen. ??????More emphasis needed to be placed on this area as the difficult economic conditions continued to affect everyone so significantly. In order to guarantee a good quality of life for our residents, and to solidify our future as a community, efforts to strengthen our local economy needed to be stepped up.??????

Vision 2020 Update

The update added a new goal for the city????????s economic environment: encourage economic growth and job creation through increased focus on economic development activities. The addition of this goal and its strategic placement at the beginning of the plan, emphasizes a more proactive, aggressive approach to economic development. Allen was brought on board in December 2011 as the Assistant City Manager, with the responsibility of managing and driving the city????????s economic development efforts.

??????This goal emphasizes business recruitment, expansion and retention,?????? said Allen. ??????With our marketing campaign we are placing ads in trade and business magazines, we????????ve produced a direct mail brochure highlighting our city????????s economic development opportunities which will be mailed to key decision makers, we have a radio commercial campaign, as well as static and transit billboards in the region. We????????ve also made it a priority to meet at least once a week with a Clearfield-based business. It has given us better insight on how we can meet the needs of our existing businesses, and address any obstacles to doing business in Clearfield.??????

In addition to the ??????we????????ve got it made?????? marketing campaign and strengthening relationships with the Clearfield business community, city leaders are increasing the city????????s involvement with EDCUtah, the Utah Alliance for Economic Development, and Davis Unified Economic Development, (economic development organizations for the state and county), identifying opportunities for growth within the city for expansion of current businesses, becoming involved with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and strengthening relationships with commercial brokers to better understand the needs of both buyers and sellers of real property with the intent of bringing additional retailers and businesses to Clearfield.br>
??????Shopping in Clearfield is another important strategy in accomplishing the city????????s economic development goal,?????? said Allen. ??????Whenever possible, goods and services should be purchased from Clearfield businesses, both residents and business-to-business.??????

In the September 2011 city newsletter, residents were encouraged to ??????put our money where our house is.?????? The impact in actual sales tax revenue is approximately 50 times greater when we keep our dollars in Clearfield. Mayor Wood encouraged citizens to do their part to help sustain, stimulate and grow our local economy in two ways: support community events and shop locally.

According to ??????Thinking Outside the Box?????? a report by the Urban Conservancy in Partnership with Civic Economics (www. staylocal.org), one dollar spent at a locally owned business will return about three times that amount within the community through city taxes, employees???????? wages and purchase of materials, supplies and services at other independent businesses. These businesses recirculate revenue within the local economy twice the rate of a chain store, and on a per square foot basis, have four times the economic impact.

Clearfield City is home to many independent retailers who provide a diversity of products and services to the community. To make finding a Clearfield business easier, the city is working on providing an online Clearfield business directory linked to the city website. The city currently provides new residents with a ??????Welcome?????? packet filled with coupons and offers from Clearfield businesses.

Also, you might recall the ??????we????????ve got it made?????? video contest that the city sponsored this past spring. This was part of the economic development area of emphasis highlighting community pride and public image. The city is using social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia for positive exposure.

The second Vision 2020 goal of economic development is to maintain Clearfield City as Davis County????????s ??????job center?????? and increase the number of family-sustaining jobs. This section highlights the potential growth and competitiveness of the Freeport-area and the Falcon Hill development at Hill Air Force Base, and development that supports Hill Air Force Base. City leaders are working on potential aerospace industry expansion opportunities spilling over from Falcon Hill into the city????????s downtown redevelopment, Legend Hills and UTA????????s FrontRunner Station Transit-Oriented- Development (TOD) areas. Many of the tactics from this section were incorporated into the first goal of economic development. Further status updates were made for ongoing Freeport and Falcon Hill projects.

The third goal, to improve and expand the city????????s shopping, dining and entertainment options for residents and visitors by creating unique, destination-oriented developments, focuses on the three points of the ??????Clearfield business triangle?????? ???????? Legend Hills, the FrontRunner station, and downtown. Work is in progress in all three of these areas to achieve the goal. Also, one of the new tactics added under this goal was to expand the city????????s already successful July 4th event. Plans for 2013 include an all-day chicken wings festival, thereby raising our community profile as the region????????s leading holiday event. Look for more information on the wings festival in future newsletters.

As cited in the Vision 2020 plan, our community values economic vitality, being a job center, providing a balanced and thriving economic environment and businesses supporting businesses. City leaders are ensuring that as we move into our third year of Vision 2020, we are doing what we can to build the positive buzz???????can????????t you hear it getting louder? Clearfield rocks!


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