Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 08/11/2012 12:36:11 PM PDT

With the recent loss of redevelopment money and in a poor economy, some Inland Empire cities are looking to different options to advertise their cities to businesses.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to dissolve local redevelopment agencies and move their tax dollars to Sacramento. The state Supreme Court in mid-December upheld the law and it took effect in February.

John Andrews, Ontario’s economic development director, said his city is taking a new look at its marketing strategy because of the loss of redevelopment.

“I think it’s forced cities to look creatively at what methods they’re using and where they’re getting the most value,” Andrews said. “And we do that.”

Andrews said to build and attract businesses, Ontario has advertised in the Los Angeles and Orange County Business Journal, Site Selection magazine and with real estate organizations such as Cornett and Industrial Asset Management Council.

“We found that to be successful historically for Ontario,” Andrews said, adding the city has pulled back from other periodicals and publications.

“We have regular conversations about what our message is,” Andrews said. “Such as who are we trying to attract in terms of decision makers on the private side?”

David Edgar, deputy city manager for Fontana, said loss of redevelopment funds made the city’s attempts to advertise itself “more difficult and more challenging. We continue to look for opportunities where it makes sense to market Fontana and market the fact we are open for business.”

Edgar said city officials are exploring advertising in selected magazines or trade publications, reaching out to the Chamber of Commerce and member groups and organizations that also promote the area.

“We are much more selective now because resources are so scarce,” Edgar said.

Linda Daniels, assistant city manager for Rancho Cucamonga, said her city has been unable to continue with print media, advertising and attending conferences.

Instead, the city has continued with regional marketing, networking, working with commercial industrial brokers and maintaining its relationship with the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce, Daniels said.

“A sign was a decrease in the number of calls we were getting,” Daniels said.

But city officials are working with brokers and have received interest from three companies, with one of them ready to sign on and two looking closely at the city.

“I think our region is still attractive to businesses. But (a lack of) print media has impacted our marketing.”

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