BEST Team to provide ongoing support for local businesses

Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce recently announced two support resources which entrepreneurs can use toward building successful businesses within the community.

Business Leader Summit

One resource includes findings discovered through a recent Business Leader Summit at Adelaida Winery in Paso Robles. Hosted by the Chamber, the Summit was comprised of 55 business leaders who represent a variety of sectors, including hospitality, tourism, retail, technology, media, real estate, wine, professional services, construction and development, and manufacturing. The Chamber’s goal was to explore a collective vision for economic development within the City of Paso Robles.
The Summit was hosted by Don Masurka, whose book,
How Great Decisions Get Made – 10 Easy Steps for Reaching Agreement on Even the Toughest Issues, has been utilized by nonprofits and government agencies alike. The publication uses a cooperative-
based, problem-solving methodology to yield the most positive results and leverage each participant’s talents and abilities toward benefiting the whole.
Among the goals of both the Chamber and the City are business retention, expansion, attraction, and effective leadership by which to implement these economic efforts. To this end, the Chamber partnered with the City to hire Josh Cross as Director of Economic Development. At the Business Leader Summit, Cross enlisted the assistance of stakeholders to present the results of a Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis as the subject for discussion and explore how these areas could be improved upon and used to meet their goals.
The Chamber’s goal was to explore a collective vision for economic development within the City of Paso Robles.
Chamber of Commerce CEO Gina Fitzpatrick emphasized her organization’s goal to update the 2006 City of Paso Robles Economic Strategy and provide 21st century support with in-house economic development services.
Seven concerns rose to the top by way of a Chamber survey. They include improving the northern section and northern gateway of Paso Robles, providing insight to the public’s awareness of the wine industry as an employer of supplemental services, acquirement and development of the 157-acre former El Paso de Robles Correctional Youth Facility at 4545 Airport Road, business development within proximity of the airport, preservation of the values and quality of life, development of a performing arts and conference center, attraction of technological firms with head-of-household jobs, and retainment of existing Paso Robles businesses from relocation.
Among the Summit’s takeaways were the need for affordable housing (74 percent), infrastructure (77 percent), workforce (70 percent), and workforce concerns (70 percent). Detailed results of the Summit will be utilized to better effect development of a Strategic Plan due this fall. Business merchants and the public are welcomed to add input by calling Director of Economic Development Josh Cross at Paso Robles Chamber at 805-238-0506 or by email at

Business and Entrepreneurial Support Team

Another ongoing resource is development of a Business and Entrepreneurial Support Team (BEST) to those interested in initiating, expanding or relocating their existing businesses to Paso Robles. The way it works is that the City of Paso Robles refers inquiries to a Chamber Point Person who is familiar with the trades and specialties of the BEST Team and collaborates with entrepreneurs, using information and local expertise to assist them.
Within the Chamber Resource Center and Business Economic Committee for advanced planning are an assortment of resources, such as business support roundtables, website information, social media posting, event creation and participation, a quarterly forum, mentorship, and a Build Relocation Packet toolkit. Strategic follow-up is also just one more way in which the Chamber and City of Paso Robles are working together to come alongside new and existing businesses. Detailed results of the Summit will be utilized to better effect development of a Strategic Plan due this fall.
To learn more about BEST or to become a mentor with BEST Team, call the Chamber at 805-238-0506.