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Creating Healthy Business Climate

By Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond
As a Richmond business owner for more than 40 years, I understand that a healthy business climate in Richmond is essential to increase jobs, municipal revenue, and economic diversity and opportunity. That is why I have worked with civic and business leaders throughout my 20-year public-service career to implement public policies that establish an environment where we can create and maintain jobs, preserve a healthy and diverse local economy, encourage the growth of small and large businesses, develop urban infrastructure that supports business operations, and prepare a highly skilled and diverse local workforce.

One way I am helping boost Richmond’s local economy and support local businesses is through the Branding and Marketing Campaign. The goal for this campaign involves several elements: cohesive community identity, consistent marketing efforts, business and resident recruitment and retention, and increased gross receipts.

Both the need and the opportunities for this campaign are greater than ever. The Bay Area is experiencing an economic boom that is outpacing both the U.S. and the State of California, but Richmond has been largely passed over. We need to marshal our resources, leverage our assets, and sell Richmond. We must proactively market Richmond’s location as a shoreline city with miles of waterfront and room for growth. Our productivity, transportation access, space for growth and expansion, and strong social and business climates are all attractive to business and industry leaders. Additionally, our diversity and affordability is understood by the Bay Area as a real benefit.

We successfully completed Phase I of the campaign in January. This research and planning phase was very informative and provided a detailed understanding of Richmond’s current brand position; that is, what people think of us and how we perceive ourselves. These insights will guide the work of Phase II, which will cover the development of a brand platform, visual identity, and marketing strategy. This includes an implementation strategy designed to raise the city’s profile — with special emphasis on community pride and economic development strategies.

The Chamber of Commerce, Chevron, the Council of Industries, Davillier Sloan Inc., Kaiser Permanente, Laconia Development, Mechanics Bank, Republic Services, the Richmond Community Foundation, and Veolia North America donated more than $70,000 to support the Branding and Marketing Campaign. However, we still need to raise $30,000 more to complete Phase II.

As business owners who will undoubtedly benefit from the success of this campaign, I ask you to consider making a contribution to the initiative. This is a highly interactive project, and many stakeholders in the community, including our contributors, will continue to be engaged throughout the process.

You can contact my office at 510-620-6503 more information about the Branding and Marketing Campaign or to make a donation. Thank you for doing business in Richmond, for helping us enhance our local economy, and for helping improve the city’s reputation and image.


— Tom Butt, Mayor of Richmond



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