Truckee Donner Chamber awarded economic development grant
July 11, 2014
The Truckee Town Council recently allocated more than $2.5 million in funds available for two new economic development incentive programs: Economic Development Support Program and the Economic Development Fund Program. These new programs are intended to help foster a healthy, year-round local economy by providing financial assistance for specific projects.
At a recent Town Council meeting, the Chamber was awarded a grant for two related projects. The first is to work with the lodging industry on the creation of a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). TBID's can provide stable, dedicated funding for tourism promotion through a small assessment on certain sales such as room nights. The grant will allow the Chamber to work with a consultant for further education, outreach and consensus building amongst the lodging industry, then the necessary documents preparation and hearing process. It is anticipated this will be an 8-9 month process.
"We have done some initial education and outreach within the lodging community and are encouraged with the level of support a TBID has received," said Jon Borden, Chamber Board member. "We are anxious to get the process underway to bolster Truckee's ability to enhance our marketing and competitive position."
The second related project for which the Chamber was awarded a grant is for an integrated place-based marketing and brand campaign. The Chamber led a collaborative economic development initiative, Truckee Tomorrow, which was a partnership with the Chamber, the Town of Truckee, the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, and Nevada County. The group hired Ryan Sharp of the Center for Strategic Economic Research (CSER) to work with the community to identify strategies for enhancing economic prosperity. Following several community meetings, the group overwhelmingly chose a place-based marketing and brand campaign strategy. The goal of the strategy is to:
• Brand Truckee – establish our brand position, which will refine our current and future marketing (both tourism and economic development)
• Inform and Educate – educate potential employees and businesses with key information for moving, relocation or starting a business in Truckee
• Diversify the Truckee Economy – actively marketing Truckee will recruit both tourism and non-tourism businesses that will help diversify the economic base and increase revenue
• Maximize marketing effectiveness – by using marketing channels that maximize reach, such as public relations, social media and internet, while using technology to measure performance and further optimize the marketing spend
"The Chamber has been committed to the collaborative partnership and the Truckee Tomorrow economic development initiative for several years. We are pleased that the Town Council identified economic development as a priority, set aside these funds, and created the process of granting money to the community for projects such as these," said Pam Hobday, Chamber Board member.
The Chamber will be required to acquire matching private funding commitments prior to moving forward with the place-based marketing and brand campaign strategy.
The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce currently promotes Truckee as a tourism destination through funding provided by the Town of Truckee for marketing programs, and visitor services for the management and operation of the California Welcome Center in the historic train depot in downtown Truckee.