Peggy Dolgenos on the Economic Vitality Strategy
Peggy Dolgenos is the Chair of Santa Cruz County Business Council’s board and CEO of Cruzio. She has been involved with tech in Santa Cruz for over 25 years with local tech powerhouses SCO and Cruzio. This week I sat down Peggy to talk about Santa Cruz County’s recently released Economic Vitality Strategy (EVS). The EVS is Santa Cruz County’s first list of tangible goals for the business community and how the County will help with the next few decades of economic development.
In general what was your overall impression of the EVS?
If you had to “brand” Santa Cruz business in one sentence what would it be?
How severe is the problem of affordable housing in Santa Cruz?
Any ideas on how to how to improve Santa Cruz’s brand?
The Santa Cruz tech community has no recorded history. There have been so many tech innovators that have called Santa Cruz home, but their achievements have never been documented. Creating a history would not only give credit to individuals, but would also establish a concrete record and add even more legitimacy to the Santa Cruz tech scene.
For instance, we are celebrating 25 years of Cruzio – one of the first internet service providers in the world. This is historic, something you don’t hear about much from Santa Cruz.
(To help Peggy with the Santa Cruz Tech History Project, click here.)
Which EVS recommendation would go the furthest in supporting small business?
Transportation is a huge part of encouraging business in Santa Cruz. A train, such as a BART but for the central coast would go a long way. Uniting the entire county, including the unincorporated areas, would give citizens easy ways to support local business. These local businesses could more easily employee people from any part of the county, keeping talent from Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz.
What would you like Santa Cruz businesses to be known for on a National or Global scale?
Anything you desired from the EVS that you didn’t see?
Could have mentioned water more. They should recognize software and game industry more. There could be even more of an emphasis on local business, including using a local business to do marketing and branding.
For our readers: the County has extended the official period for comment until August 15! We posted all the EVS recommendations into one of our online workshops so you could learn more about them, vote yes or no on each one, and make comments. Check it out here.