What is economic development, anyway? At its core, economic development is all about supporting initiatives that enhance the local economy and improve the quality of life of people in the community. Economic development looks different depending on the makeup and needs of the community, but is often a long-term process since its initiatives—attracting new businesses, creating jobs and improving standards of living—all take time.
Until the last decade, California cities’ economic development departments were usually known as “redevelopment agencies” (RDAs). The agencies functioned through tax increment financing and cut deals with developers to build in specific areas. However, RDAs within the state dissolved in 2012 in order to protect funding for core public services at the local level. After dissolution, Napa’s own RDA became known as the “Economic Development Division,” which is now officially housed under the City’s Community Development Department alongside the Planning Division, Building Division, Code Enforcement Division and Parking Division.
As the City’s Economic Development Division sought to find its footing and redefine its purpose, focus shifted to community projects and methods to support local businesses. The Economic Development team is passionate about:
Learn more about Napa’s Economic Development Division.