Local Business Spotlight

The Local Business Initiatives is often involved in a wide variety of efforts that help support our mission and engage different facets in our community. More importantly, these types of events often make a vital connection between the business community, residents, local government, economic development partners and more- further reinforcing that our local business community is vital to the health and vibrancy of our City.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week- September 21, 2009
In partnership with the Central Valley Incubator, the City proclaimed the week of September 21, 2009 as “Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week.” During a five day time period the CVBI and other community partners hosted a number of events, forums and ceremonies- all embracing the vast amount of innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities that are locally grown.

Gottschalks Employee Appreciation Day- November 5, 2009
2009 marked the end of an era for one of Fresno’s greatest treasures- Gottschalks. While the closing of Gottschalks was a detrimental loss to our community, Fresno was left with a pool of talented, innovative and well-trained employees, many of whom were with Gottschalks for over 20 years. The value that those employees bring to our community is immeasurable and Mayor Swearengin took this opportunity to acknowledge the talented workforce we have here locally and encouraged businesses looking to grow and expand to hire local- we have enough talent here.

Mayor’s Job and Economic Growth Forum- December 10, 2009
In early December, Mayor Swearengin was one of the few Mayors asked to join President Obama in the Job and Economic Growth Forum to discuss how to spur job growth in Cities across the U.S., and challenged each Mayor to work with their local business community to come up with specific solutions that would work in their respective areas. Upon the Mayors return, the Local Business Initiatives gathered a variety of members from the different Affinity Groups for Fresno’s own Job and Economic Growth Forum. In response to the request from President Obama the City of Fresno, with the help from the local business community, sent a list of collaborative recommendations back to Washington D.C.


Educating our community about why it is important to support locally owned, independent business as a means to establishing a sustainable and diverse economy.