On behalf of Ventura County Complete Count Committee, we need your help – this is your chance to be a Census Superhero!
This is a Member Spotlight article for the Ventura County Community Foundation.
On behalf of Ventura County Complete Count Committee, we need your help – this is your chance to be a Census Superhero!
As a valued business leader, we are asking you to join us in The Final Count campaign for the 2020 Census. With the census ending on September 30th, we are in the final stretch to reach all who have not yet been counted.
Help us spread theword and encourage your employees and patrons to participate in the 2020 census.
Follow our final countdown efforts on Ventura County Counts social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can click here to download the Business Toolkit Guide where you can review your Census Superhero Checklist, and fill out your Final Count Pledge Form. Download Business Toolkit Resources to share here.
We appreciate your time, consideration, and leadership! For more information or questions email: email@example.com
The Oxnard Trophy recipient is chosen by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The Oxnard Trophy is presented to a person, business or organization that has brought recognition to Oxnard and has bettered the community.
In December of last year (when the world was normal!) the Pacifica Tritons football team astonished the high school football world and became the CIF Division 2-A State champions. It was the first Ventura County public school to win the title. Coach Mike Moon and his talented players beat Oakland-McClymonds 34-6. Pacifica (15-1) set or tied 11 Division 2-A records in delivering the city of Oxnard its first football state title.
Congratulations to Coach Mike Moon and the Pacifica High School Tritons! Your name will now be added to decades of previous Oxnard Trophy awardees.
Democracy can be messy. Some good ideas can turn out to be very bad when you look at the consequences. That seems to be the case with four measures that qualified for Oxnard's November ballot.
Measure F – Expedited Processing of Certain City-Issued Development Permits
We've all heard horror stories about how long it can take to get a permit for a new warehouse or office building. But that's not always the case. The city of Oxnard has been studying the flow of permit issuances and has worked out some of the kinks that slowed the process. Measure F would allow self-certification of projects that meet specific requirements and if those project applications are filed by certified professionals. No city has ever done this to the scope called for in Measure F. Phoenix, Arizona may be the closest, but its scope covers about 50% of what is proposed in Oxnard. Audits of the Phoenix self-certified projects show 39% failed to comply with current building standards and codes. Would you want to go to work in a building constructed under those circumstances? In addition, the city's Insurance Service Organization rating would likely go down, which means residents and business owners would see higher rates. Not a good idea.
Measure L – Expansion of Duties of Elected City Treasurer
This measure would expand the duties of the city's elected Treasurer to include the job of Finance Director, who manages accounting functions, budget management, and purchasing. The requirements to be elected as the city Treasurer are: registered to vote in Oxnard, 18 years old, US citizen, not currently in a state or federal prison or on parole for a felony, and not currently found mentally incompetent. There are no requirements for education or training in the field of finance, investments, or banking. Not a good idea.
Measure M – New Requirements Regarding the Way in Which City Council Meetings, Council Committee and Other City Legislative Bodies are Run
Measure M would require all meetings of legislative bodies to commence no earlier than 5:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am on weekends. Remember those council meetings that used to go until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning? With Measure M, we would be headed back to those late, unproductive meetings. The measure also requires that all staff presentations be videotaped and posted on the city's website at the time the meeting agenda is posted. There is a sizeable cost involved with this requirement, along with increased staff time. Measure M also requires all meetings of legislative bodies be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, not commonly employed by local government. Not a good idea.
Measure N – Early Termination of Measure O Sales Tax
Measure O was a twenty-year general-purpose half-cent sales tax passed by the voters of Oxnard in 2008. Measure N would tie the condition of Oxnard's streets to a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) in order to continue the Measure O tax collection. It appears to be mathematically impossible for the city to attain the PCI results Measure N calls for. There simply is not enough money in the city's coffers. In addition, the voters approved the general-purpose sales tax. Measure N would change that to a specific-purpose tax, which could be challenged in court is it is not adopted by two-thirds of Oxnard voters. Not a good idea.
The Oxnard Chamber urges all voters to educate themselves on the intended or unintended consequences of all ballot measures.
Keeping a 70-year tradition going of recognizing community and business champions has had its challenges in the middle of a pandemic. However, the Oxnard Chamber has risen to those challenges and is proud to announce the 2020 awardees who will be honored at the virtual event on October 8. Here they are:
Distinguished Citizen of the Year – Marvin Boos is on a mission to clean up our city. After he retired from Naval Base Ventura County, he certainly was not going to become a couch potato. Last year when the city of Oxnard had to cut its budget and eliminate groundskeepers and graffiti removal personnel, Marvin Boos loaded his truck with a rake, dustpan, and hand saw and went to work. He spends about five days a week, three or four hours a day, cleaning up Oxnard's medians, parks and sidewalks. He's also inspired many others to join him in his fight against weeds, litter, overgrown trees, and graffiti. Thank you, Marvin!
Volunteer of the Year – Jim Magnusson is the definition of what a great community volunteer should be. He has spent the last 25 years volunteering his time and talent to help high school athletes respond and recover from injury. Over the course of the last two-and-a-half decades, Jim has helped hundreds of students at local high schools. Since 2005, Jim has volunteered a Pacifica High School, working with the football team. But Jim has done even more than serve as the team's medical support. He has also pitched in at other schools, such as for Oxnard High School's baseball team.
Business Advocate of the Year – Ashley Golden is the Assistant City Manager for the city of Oxnard, which seems odd that a chamber of commerce would name a government employee the Business Advocate of the Year. However, the Oxnard Chamber has had more input on city matters since Ms. Golden sought and incorporated opinions of the business community in city issues. Whether it's a minor change in city policy or a major overhaul of a process affecting business, she seeks responses from the entities impacted. Even when she has bad news to deliver to the business community, Ashley brings the issue to the Chamber for feedback.
Young Professional of the Year – Taylor Penny is hard to keep up with. She's a habitual volunteer! She's an avid supporter of the Oxnard Young Professionals, a champion for the local Boys & Girls Clubs, a board member for the California Strawberry Festival, board member for the Friends of the Bard Mansion, Oxnard PD K-9 Unit, mentor with Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and serves on the Steering Committee for the Chamber's Oxnard Leadership program. Taylor's coworkers say she is always volunteering to help with any projects at St. John's Hospital, where she works for their foundation. Ms. Penny lives in Oxnard, works in Oxnard, and serves many organizations in Oxnard.
Nonprofit Organization of the Year – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County is celebrating 50 years of service through youth mentoring in 2020. With a big focus in Oxnard, they opened a new mentoring site earlier this year, bringing group and individual mentoring opportunities to youth for after-school hours. Through the guidance of dedicated case managers across all of their programs, BBBSVC has provided Oxnard youth the benefits of 1-to-1 mentoring to support individual needs, leading to life-long and life-changing friendships for many.
Small Business of the Year – PODS Moving & Storage has donated more than $1.5 million in logistics, PODS containers, trucks, fuel, and personnel to Central Coast charities in the past 15 years. Franchise owner Steve Yapp has instilled his passion for service in his entire team. Recipients of this generosity include the Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County, Casa Pacifica, FOOD Share, California Strawberry Festival, Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and veterans Stand Down events. Giving back to the community that helped grow his business is a big part of Yapp's business model.
Large Business of the Year – DW Drums was founded in Santa Monica in 1972 and moved to Oxnard in 2000 where their international headquarters is today. Their mission is to produce the finest drums possible, to be innovative leaders in their industry, to provide outstanding customer service, and to bring together a team of employees and give them the opportunity to work with pride at a fun place to work. They also bring elite music legends to Oxnard ranging from Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) to Oxnard's own Grammy-winning Anderson Paak. Hundreds of big-name musicians come to Oxnard each year to monitor the progress of their made-to-order drums.
Innovative Business of the Year – FOMAT Medical Research has launched a search to find treatment and a vaccine for COVID-19. FOMAT has set up a testing site adjacent to the Oxnard Library on A Street. FOMAT conducts trials on whether antibody medicine offers effective treatment for people that have tested positive for the virus, and a second study will be on healthy people at high risk of the virus who will take a cocktail to measure the effectiveness in preventing infection. Testing is free, aimed at people willing to participate in the trials, and tests will provide results in 45 minutes.
Best place to Work – Visit Oxnard offers an unparalleled work culture, so ingrained in its employees that the term "staff" is always substituted by the word "team." Flexible schedules allow team members to put family first. Annual reviews allow for both professional growth and consistency in performance-based compensation adjustments. Team outings to support Oxnard restaurants, retailers, and attractions are common occurrences. Leadership guides by the principles of sociocracy, giving everyone the opportunity have their voices heard. "Coming to work each day is a joy," said the nominator for this award.
The Community & Business Awards will be October 8 at 4:00 pm. Register for the virtual event here.
Are you ready for some COVID-related stats that won't spin you into anxiety or depression? We are too!
At the Chamber, we've been watching some of the emerging trends related to business -- from local to global. We decided to share some of the more interesting findings in this brief round-up.
New Business Boom
According to the US Census Bureau, over 111,000 applications to start a new business were filed during the week of August 10th. That's a 69% increase over the same week a year ago. And it's no fluke: 113,000+ filed the week before. In fact, third quarter new business tax IDs have surpassed second quarter numbers in just the first eight weeks.
Saving for a Rainy Day
The average savings rate in April jumped to a record 32%, up from an average of 8%. The average savings rate in May was also significantly higher than average at 23% -- and it's remained higher than average since.
Business Growth in Online Sales
Nationwide there has been a 49% increase in online retail sales. Much of this increase has, of course, gone to the big internet players such as Amazon but not all. While some view Amazon as a retail giant, over two million small businesses in the US view Amazon as a sales and delivery channel, along with sites like Etsy, Ebay and others.
Home Sales Climb Nationwide
Realtor.com reports that July real estate prices were up 8.5% over July 2019. And the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shared that July 2020 home sales were up 24.7 percent from the month before. July was "among the strongest (months) the housing market has ever seen." These home price increases are partly due to a shrinking supply of houses on the market (down 32.6 percent nationwide), low interest rates and pent-up demand from potential home buyers putting off house hunting during the uncertain spring season. Speaking of demand, the NAR noted that home ownership, in general, is at a reported 12-year high.