On this episode, I chat with Antioch Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Pagano on the recent approval of the Somersville Economic Opportunity Plan in collaboration with Saint Mary’s College. We get into its benefits and what might be achieved. We also get into Opportunity Zones and those benefits for developers.  Pagano also shares what the Antioch Chamber of Commerce is and the benefits it provides to its members while plugging the chambers upcoming State of the City address.

Episode Overview:

  • 00:44 – Richard Pagano explains what the Antioch Chamber of Commerce brought to the City of Antioch with the Somersville Economic Opportunity Plan in collaboration with Saint Mary’s College.
  • 02:50 – We get into what the plan will accomplish – bringing college students in to look at current plans, compile more data that may not be in existing plans and create an economic development plan for the Somersville area.
  • 04:40 – Why couldn’t the City of Antioch create these types of plans?
  • 05:30 – obvious observations are that it’s a homeless and old buildings problem to a greater issue and the expectations upon completion is that there will be opportunities identified for existing structures.
  • 08:30 – we get into the recent council meeting where it appeared the vote would not pass for this study to move forward.
  • 12:27 – what about the argument that developers know what they are going to do, why do you need a study? Pagano points out developers are not coming in because they don’t see the value. Pagano gets into how the area now falls under Opportunity Zones.
  • 15:00 – We get into how Measure W brings in $14 million per year and the Council is worried over $15,000.  Pagano highlights how these studies are not free. It appeared this study was going to go down once the Mayor recused himself.
  • 18:02 – We get into how the Chamber is funding half and the City is funding half which ensures this project can live for a while.
  • 19:12 – Pagano provides an overview of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce and what the chamber is seeing as a challenge for local businesses – he gets into sales tax leakage.
  • 24:05 – What are some of the accomplishments by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce since becoming CEO.
  • 25:07 – We get into how Antioch hired and economic development director but gave him no budget to work with for his first year.
  • 27:00 – What are some of the benefits you are providing to members of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.
  • 28:40 – Why don’t Chambers do more cross promotion?
  • 31:42 – Pagano plugs Antioch Chamber State of the City Address, an event coming up on May 17, 2019.

For more information on the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, click here.



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