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County and chamber work together to promote business

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The business of finding or enhancing a second economy soon will be in full swing.

Economic Development Coordinator Shawna Purvines, who works for El Dorado County, plans to spend Mondays next month in the county’s South Lake Tahoe office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The county’s economic development office based in Placerville has existed for three years.

In the last few months, the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce has placed onto its radar screen the concept of opportunities aside from Lake Tahoe’s tourism-based economy.

Chamber board member Jeff Tillman, who works for South Tahoe Refuse, heads a committee spurred by President Dennis Crabb to tackle the complex and difficult issue. Tourism-dependent economies faced greater challenges after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Purvines pledged to help the chamber with resources necessary to move in a certain direction, she told board members at the chamber meeting last Thursday.

The direction thus far appears to lean toward assisting businesses already existing on the South Shore, instead of the initial idea of attracting new companies to the area.

“They wanted to attract new business to the area to diversify its base. But we have found that the attraction itself isn’t paying off,” Purvines said.

Purvines said the Tahoe area serves as a prototype for other communities within the county.

The chamber and county plan to work together to identify stakeholders in the concept and develop a strategic plan.

Public forums will be held to get the community input.

Chamber Executive Director Duane Wallace said he expects the computer commuter will top the list of home business candidates that show the potential to expand the local economy.

SIDEBAR

The El Dorado County Economic Development Department has launched a marketing promotion aimed at putting the county on the “forefront of peoples’ minds.”

The trade promotion titled “a place where propriety and tranquility co-exist” includes a Web page, print advertisements in such publications as the Sacramento Business Journal and Comstock magazine, and a marketing kit. The county plans to target the San Francisco Bay Area, Tahoe’s primary feeder market.

The package covers business tax credits, area statistics and resources, along with other marketing incentives.

Economic Development Coordinator Shawna Purvines said the promotion represents the first thorough, coordinated effort the county has implemented with the idea of placing the region on the California map.


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