On August 14, 2018, Santa Barbara City Council held a public meeting to discuss the revitalization of State Street. In an effort to recapture economic vitality in the downtown area, members hosted a panel-discussion for concerned residents and business owners. A group of stakeholders, led by Amy Cooper, Chair of the World Business Academy’s State Street Task Force, presented the City Council with a list of initiatives to help guide their way. The creation of the task force reflects the cornerstone of the Academy’s commitment to “think globally, act locally.”
At the center of Cooper’s “call-to-action” was inclusion, as she stated “After learning that Downtown Economic Vitality was going to be on your agenda, a large group of community members came together to develop some solutions and strategies for your consideration. While this falls far short of a comprehensive strategic plan, we are hopeful our input can be of service in your efforts to revitalize downtown.” It was signed by a diverse group of business owners, government officials, non-profit leaders, and Santa Barbara residents.
The initiatives were presented to Mayor Murillo and the City Council the day before the meeting – with close to 100 Santa Barbara business owners, property owners, and other stakeholders signing on to make their voices heard. The World Business Academy would like to thank the City of Santa Barbara and its constituents for advocating on behalf of those initiatives.
The Council’s decision to move forward on hiring an independent Economic Development consultant was a positive first step, and we support the formation of a subcommittee to oversee the venture. We’re excited to see collaboration and action towards reaching our collective goal of revitalizing State Street.
We are thrilled to see all sectors of the community coming together to tackle this issue. We appreciate all who participated and would like to give a special nod to Plum Goods store owner, and chairperson of our task force, Amy Cooper. Thank you for tirelessly volunteering your time, energy, and knowledge, in bettering the Santa Barbara community.
By hosting two business meetings on this topic earlier in the year, the Academy aimed to galvanize community stakeholders into collaboration on ways to revitalize State Street and initiate actions needed to breathe new life into the retail sector in Santa Barbara. This will help bolster our local economy and community by making Downtown a cool place to go again.
Our hope is that city officials, along with the council’s subcommittee, and the prospective Economic Development consultant, will apply the strategies outlined in Ms. Cooper’s August 13 letter. We are keeping track and staying involved, and will continue to support Ms. Cooper and her team in leading this initiative.