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GTEDC talks small business, accomplishments

On Sept. 8, the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council held their monthly meeting at the Village Collective on Green Street. During these meetings, advocates from organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Tehachapi Tourism and Arts Commissions, Tehachapi Unified School District and Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner's office took turns sharing economic updates and upcoming events of interest to Tehachapi's small business owners.

First to report was Clare Scotti from the Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization that supports economic development and advocates on behalf of small businesses in the Greater Tehachapi area. With Scotti's recent take-over as President, the Chamber is on the path to becoming a stronger-than-ever resource for Tehachapi's small businesses. Upcoming events the Chamber is organizing include September's monthly luncheon on Sept. 19, featuring Police Chief Standridge, and the quarterly mixer on Oct. 6. On Sept. 22, in conjunction with GTEDC, the Chamber will be hosting a meet-and-greet with Shannon Grove at Triassic Vineyards. Currently in the works are a bookkeeping series for small business owners and an ambassador program which will open another line of communication between the Chamber and Tehachapi small businesses.

Next to share were the Tourism and Arts Commissions. The Arts Commission has raised $36,000 in the past 3 years and has seen a 30% increase of sales at their VIP events. The Tourism Commission, which runs the visitor center, has officially finished and launched the Visit Tehachapi website. Visittehachapi.com is ready to help plan trips and showcase what the city has to offer. The Visitor Center itself, though, is struggling to remain open and is in desperate need of volunteers. For at least three hours per month, volunteers can help keep tourism in Tehachapi healthy and flourishing, while getting involved in their community.

A representative from Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner's office came to announce the celebration of the opening of a Rosamond pool and a park in Boron, both highly-anticipated projects. With $56 million coming in from Measure K, Kern County now has the funding to focus on public safety, having recently laterally hired 12 new deputies and swearing all of them in on the same day. Building the Hart Flat fire station and taking down illegal cannabis operations are two of many ongoing initiatives funded by Measure K, which in November of 2022 added a one-cent sales tax to businesses operating in unincorporated Kern County.

The City was happy to share that Tehachapi has seen 12 new small business applications since July. This year's Farmers Market was also a smashing success, seeing over 18,000 visitors, about 5,000 more people since 2022. Repavement projects continue to progress smoothly and CalTrans has recently received a budget for a maintenance station that will be built behind Tractor Supply.

Adventist Health's Rosamond project is still moving forward smoothly and Director of Operations Edward Martin was thrilled to announce that the hospital has been accredited by the Joint Commission, a premier hospital accreditor. The Tehachapi hospital did so well, in fact, that the commission said it has set a new bar. Adventist Hospital is missing only the patient volume to qualify for a prestigious 5-star designation.

The GTEDC meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Village Collective at 122 S. Green St. Come by at 7:30 a.m. to connect with Tehachapi's small business community over complimentary donuts and coffee.