Economic Development Strategy & Action Plan

The Gonzales Economic Development Strategic Plan outlines a vision and action plan to achieve the city’s economic goals over the next five years. Following the recent economic downturn, the city is positioned to experience job growth in the agricultural-industrial sector and increased tourism associated with the River Road Santa Lucia Highlands winery corridor. In addition, the city has made investments in sustainability in terms of solar energy, solid waste recycling and wind energy that help to brand the community as a regional leader in innovative economic development. A key goal of the community is to diversify its retail shopping opportunities and the variety of business and professional services available to residents and businesses alike. In addition, there is a high priority for visitor services, including restaurants, lodging and wine tasting locations in Gonzales.

Vision & Goals

The strategic plan is intended to achieve the following vision and economic development goals:

“Gonzales is a safe, healthy, diverse, sustainable community with small town charm, a responsive city government, home to a mix of retail, restaurants and professional services which support Gonzales residents, the local business community and Salinas Valley visitors.”
 
Goal 1: Promote business opportunities in agricultural industries and related technical support services, and agricultural tourism.
Goal 2: Increase diversification of the business mix in Gonzales.
Goal 3: Support and exemplify opportunities in sustainability, alternative energy production and water conservation and reuse.
Goal 4: Promote health and wellness within Gonzales and also as a part of the external image of the community.
Goal 5: Maintain adequate resources and readiness to support business growth and expansion.
Goal 6: Create tools and systems to encourage entrepreneurial new business development and to assist in business retention.

Branding & Marketing Message

The strategic action plan includes a number of steps to develop assets and resources within the community, with a major emphasis on marketing the Gonzales brand to promote what the city has already achieved. A number of key messages for Gonzales include the following:
  • Located in the heart of the Salinas Valley’s agricultural and wine region
  • Bountiful vegetable growing farms and food processing facilities
  • Available commercial and industrial land and properties
  • Ideal for wine, agricultural-related industrial, retail and restaurant businesses and highway commercial uses
  • Available workforce with diverse skills including healthcare, public administration, manufacturing and education
  • Properties suitable for moderately priced retail and restaurants
  • Excellent transportation access
  • Accessible city government
  • Proximity to available workforce
  • Close to California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB)
  • Eco-friendly
  • Affordable, safe location with a tight-knit, friendly community
  • Affordable homes
Based on an analysis of Gonzales’ key characteristics and assets, the overall key brand message is:

“A City located in the heart of the Salinas Valley’s agricultural and wine region, Gonzales is a friendly, tight-knit community with moderately priced homes, available land and properties suitable for agriculture, wine-related and industrial businesses as well as retail and restaurants.”