Message from the Chair, Stacy Miller
Community policing team will meet individual businesses to address issues of concern
If you are a business owner/manager in Oxnard struggling with issues related to crime, violence, vagrancy or vandalism, you may be interested in the Oxnard Police Department’s Business Engagement program. Started in 2016, the partnership-oriented program was created to help businesses reduce and prevent crime through police best practices.
As part of the Business Engagement program, the Oxnard PD has created Neighborhood Policing Teams. The teams are divided among 11 geographic areas (beats) throughout the city with a community-policing officer assigned to each area. The officers work in their “beats” on specific business and community-related issues. Each Beat Coordinator is expected to be responsive to the needs of the community and works to build relationships with local business owners. The Police Beat Coordinator is “problem solver” with a variety of responsibilities including identifying crime trends and addressing quality of life issues such as homelessness and vagrancy with the idea that building relationships between the police and the people they serve is a great way to reduce and prevent crime.
It looks like the Oxnard PD is on the right track. Crime has decreased in the city of Oxnard and this year, Oxnard PD was presented with a prestigious statewide award for its community policing work.
Earlier this year, Chief Scott Whitney was quoted in the VC Star as saying: “Community policing is really a philosophy. It’s a way of policing where the department accepts the idea that it is partnered with the people it serves and where police count on residents to communicate, participate and, if need be, serve as witnesses.”
You may be surprised to learn that crime prevention through environmental design is a real thing! As part of the Business Engagement program, the beat officers will come to your place of business and walk your property with you, offering small insights and suggestions for changes that can go a long way towards preventing crime. Some of these suggestions may include adding more lighting in strategic areas, trimming bushes that block windows, and my personal favorite, moving the beer away from the front door where it can easily be stolen.
“We will come out to individual businesses to get to know owners and managers and understand the particular issues they are concerned about. We also collaborate as Beat Coordinators, sharing information across the beats that may reveal crime trends that we can work to solve,” explains Sgt. Jeff McGreevy, Neighborhood Policing Team Supervisor for the Oxnard PD.
It is important that businesses flourish in Oxnard and the Oxnard PD’s Business Engagement program can help businesses deal with their individual issues related to crime, which is a big step in the right direction. Successful neighborhood policing is good for the economy and the community. When businesses are successful, the tax base increases and helps to pay for important quality of life projects and programs that make our city great.
If you would like to contact your Beat Coordinator to access these free resources, call Sgt. Jeff McGreevy, the Neighborhood Policing Team Supervisor at 805-385-7600 or 805-797-8021. He can also schedule a custom presentation for your organization, neighborhood group or business regarding crime prevention.
By Stacy Miller, Chair of the Oxnard Chamber Board of Directors
In case you missed it, a federal bill aimed at attracting private investment was passed at the end of December 2017 (Tax Cuts & Jobs Act). The bill allows the Governor to designate certain census tracts as Opportunity Zones.
The good news is that there are three of these areas that have been designated in Oxnard: Rose Park, Colonia and Five Points Northeast. These areas, which were selected by the state and federal government based on areas of poverty, include: the area east of Rose Avenue to the eastern city limits between Highway 101 and Fifth Street, plus an area south of Fifth Street that is bounded by Oxnard Boulevard and Rose Avenue.
What this means is that investments made by individuals through special funds in these zones would be allowed to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains; a great incentive for private investment! The designated tracts include a mix of residential, commercial and manufacturing so investors can tailor their investments in these areas. The designation of an Opportunity Zones was hailed by the City of Oxnard as “a tool to stimulate economic growth.”
By way of background, the Governor can designate up to 25% of census tracts that either have poverty rates of at least 20% or median family incomes of no more than 80% of statewide or metropolitan area family incomes.
There are 3,516 census tracts in 54 California counties that would qualify under one or both of the mandatory criteria, allowing the Governor to designate up to 879 tracts. As census tracts are designed to capture geographic areas of around 4,000 people, more than three million Californians would potentially be located in one of these Opportunity Zone areas.
The Opportunity Zone provides investors with opportunities to purchase and rehab properties, start a business or to build on raw land. This is attractive to investors because they can defer, reduce or even eliminate taxes paid on capital gains income by investing in a special qualified opportunity zone fund.
It’s a great time to invest in Oxnard! The City of Oxnard stands ready, willing and able to discuss the Opportunity Zone program with interested investors. To find out more, contact the City of Oxnard’s Economic Development department at 805-385-7407.
How $159 Million Benefits Oxnard at the Channel Islands Harbor
By: Stacy Miller, Chair of the Board
Would you be surprised to learn that the businesses and tenants of Channel Islands Harbor had a total economic impact of more than $159 million in 2016 (direct and indirect), according to a report recently published by the California Economic Forecast?
Our little gem on the coast is credited with $74 million of direct economic impact to the Ventura County economy in 2016. The Channel Islands Harbor, which is one of the few growing employment centers in the County, also facilitated 920 full-time-equivalent jobs.
The report anticipates that two proposed developments, including the Hyatt House and restaurant (formerly the Casa Sirena Hotel) and redevelopment of Fisherman’s Wharf (east side) could increase economic activity by over 60 percent.
The highest performing business category for the Harbor in 2016 was dining, which grossed an estimated $19 million in sales. Real estate was the next highest performing category at nearly $12 million in gross sales. The remaining categories, in rank order of gross sales were: boating services, hotels, sportfishing, commercial fishing, personal services, other recreation, boat sales, yacht clubs, other retail, healthcare, insurance, boating supplies, education and home services.
Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the Channel Islands Harbor was built as a recreational harbor on 310 acres of land and water, with about 2,150 boat slips, as well as marina facilities, restaurants, sportfishing facilities and shops. In 2016, the marinas were 70 percent full.
The Channel Islands Harbor is divided into three areas (west, east and peninsula) served by separate public roads, with each area providing different services. The west side includes marinas, a linear park, restaurants, residential development and retail businesses. The peninsula is dominated by hotel development, marinas, apartments and condominiums.
The east side is primarily commercial and serves boaters by offering boat yards, a marine supply store, boat sales, law enforcement, administration and search and rescue facilities. It's that east side that really needs a makeover to generate more revenue and become the destination it was intended to be.
Owned and operated by the County of Ventura, the majority of the Harbor is operated by businesses that have been granted long-term ground leases by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors
Since 2012, Channel Islands Harbor business activity outperformed overall business growth throughout Ventura County, at 6.3 percent annually.
The Hyatt House is a 206-room hotel with a 5,400 square foot restaurant. This $25 million project is expected to begin construction later this year. Fisherman’s Wharf at the Channel Islands Harbor (www.fishermanswharfoxnard.com) is a proposed $100 million mixed use project that includes high-end apartments, restaurants, shops and commercial development to replace the dilapidated Fisherman’s Wharf at the Channel Islands Harbor.
Good things are happening in Oxnard and with the addition of a new hotel and proposed mixed-use project, our Channel Islands Harbor will be the shiniest gem on the California coast!
Here’s to a great future!
The economic impact study, which was released in 2018, can be found at: channelislandsharbor.org.
Message for our Chair, Stacy Miller
The year was 1908.
The Ford Motor Company produced the first “Model T” at its Detroit factory. The first Boy Scout handbook, “Scouting for Boys” was published. It was the first time a ball, signifying the new year, dropped in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. And, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce was created--just five years after the City of Oxnard was incorporated by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.
Celebrating our 110th anniversary this year, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce has come a long way. The last century plus has seen many firsts for Oxnard, and the Chamber of Commerce has been here through it all.
In 1929, the Roosevelt Highway was built, connecting Oxnard with Los Angeles for the first time. In 1934, the Oxnard Airport opened. In 1938 the Oxnard Harbor District was formed and with it, a commercial and yacht harbor was built. In 1947, the first live missile, the Loon, was launched from our area and in 1952, the Oxnard Air Force Base was established.
The Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard was dedicated in 1965 and in 1969, Oxnard City Hall was constructed. Jumping forward to the new millennium, the Dallas Cowboys held their first training camp in Oxnard in 2001. With new residents came new opportunities for shopping, entertainment and dining with the opening of The Collection in 2012.
Today, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce and its 500+ members remain dedicated to the principles upon which it was founded: Serving as the catalyst for business growth, the convener for leaders and influencers, and the champion for stronger communities.
Our goals continue to be to promote the business and economic well-being of our diverse community; to benefit enterprises, big and small, through advocacy, services and education, business exposure, and promotional opportunities. We value a high quality of life in our community and encourage economic vitality.
I want to personally thank each of you that choose to become a member of this thriving business organization; your continue support and participation in the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce will help Oxnard grow to be a stronger business community in the decades to come.
It will be interesting to see what the next millennium will bring for our community, but you can be sure if the Chamber is involved, it will be good for business!
Until next time…. Stacy
Message from our Chair - Stacy Miller
National Geographic Explorer, Sunset Magazine, Heal The Bay, Sparling’s Best Places to Live all are raving about Oxnard
Would you be surprised to learn that in addition to being Ventura County’s largest City, Oxnard was named one of the 20 Happiest Cities in the United States by National Geographic Explorer?
“It’s no surprise that California is home to many of the happiest places in America, including Oxnard/Thousand Oaks/Ventura. With its combination of great weather, beaches, and nearby national forests, adventure awaits around every corner” stated the article by National Geographic Explorer and best-selling author Dan Buettne.
The rankings were based on National Geographic’s study that established 15 metrics that signal happiness - the metric included eating healthy, learning something new every day, civic engagement, financial security, vacation time, and even dental checkups.
Did you also know that we have some of the highest rated beaches in the STATE?
Heal the Bay rates Oxnard’s beaches as some of the best in California. The water is tested weekly and our beaches were rated A+ every single week of the year. Oxnard is one of only 37 beaches in California to receive an A+.
In addition, Sunset Magazine rated Oxnard 7th in their rating of the Top 20 Game-Changing Places to Live. “This coastal community south of Ventura has easy access to the Santa Monica Mountains and Channel Islands. Its Latino majority infuses the bustling downtown with authentic eateries and annual festivals around strawberries, tamales, and salsa,” they stated.
Oxnard also boasts a fabulous natural resource – a national park and national marine sanctuary right off our shores and very accessible.
Many of us that live and work here believe Oxnard is our “little gem.” We enjoy excellent air quality, year-round first-rate climate, diversity, easy access to outdoor activities, a low unemployment rate and comparatively speaking, little traffic.
According to Sparling’s Best Places to Live, job growth in Oxnard has been positive. Jobs have increased by 0.36% over the past year. The average salary in Oxnard is $62,349. The median home cost in Oxnard is $429,300. The unemployment rate in Oxnard is 5.90%, with job growth of 0.36%. Future job growth over the next 10 years is predicted to be 34.81%.
With all of these “tail winds,” I believe that far and away our best assets continue to be the amazing people who live and work in Oxnard and are committed to improving this amazing place.
The Chamber looks forward to our collective efforts at increasing the success of local businesses, the economy and our quality of life here in the ‘Nard.
Until next time…