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published on May 6, 2016 - 1:54 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Some of the Central Valley’s top economic development initiatives took center stage recently during the annual conference of the California Association for Local Economic Development.

The Freedom Industrial Park in Madera took the top Award of Excellence in the category of Economic Development Partnerships.

The Madera County Economic Development Commission and Span Construction and Engineering have partnered to develop the 100-acre Freedom Industrial Park, with Span Construction donating 36 acres to the City of Madera in exchange for offsite infrastructure.

At full build out, the park could add another 1 million square feet of industrial space to the already-tight Madera market, as well as create hundreds of new jobs.

The City of Clovis was a two-time Award of Merit winner, one in the category for Economic Development Programs for its “Clovis Economic Gardening Network” and one in the category of Economic Development Promotions for its “Big Wins Day-Drought Edition.”

The Economic Gardening Program pairs six local business owners with experts to explore growth strategies.

The Big Wins Day-Drought Edition was a shop-local campaign that rewarded residents for meeting state-mandated water cutbacks. Those who shopped in Clovis were given raffle tickets for a variety of prizes including water saving appliances and synthetic turf replacement. Clovis officials said the one-day event brought in more than $1 million in additional retail sales.

Also in the category of Economic Development Promotions, the Fresno County Economic Development Corp. also earned an Award of Merit for its High-Speed Rail Business Support Program, which helps business owners affected by the rail project with relocation assistance, property appraisals, legal consultation and other needs.

CALED is the premier statewide professional economic development organization dedicated to advancing its members’ ability to achieve excellence in delivering economic development services to their communities and business clients. Membership consists of public and private organizations and individuals involved in economic development; the business of creating and retaining jobs.  Each year, CALED recognizes the outstanding achievements of projects that have made significant contributions to the field of economic development in the California.


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