Monthly Archives: March 2013

San Jose’s Samsung Partnership is Smart Public Policy

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March 27  |  Government Relations  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought . . . San Jose’s Samsung partnership is smart public policy.

For the past two weeks,headlines have read that San Jose was preparing to give Samsung Semiconductor $7 million to expand its Research and Development facilities on North First Street.

The incentive package was not in cash, but rather, in reduced fees like traffic impact fees, utility taxes and production and assembly equipment purchases.

The upside? Samsung will grow its Research and Development workforce from its current head count of 370 high-tech, high-skilled, high-wage jobs to an anticipated 2,000 employees ten years from today.  That’s 1,630 new high-tech jobs in San Jose.

Much has been written about the $7 million incentive package, but little of the coverage has mentioned the $23 million that will be generated for city residents from the Samsung expansion in terms of property tax revenue, business and utility taxes. That is a net gain of $16 million.

In addition, the City wisely included “Claw Back” provisions that Samsung would need to pay if the promised jobs and expansion never materialize.

Why does this matter to San Jose residents? Easy.  Samsung is creating hundreds of new jobs for future employees, on a project which will also create hundreds of construction jobs to build the ten-story building and nine-story parking structure. In addition, San Jose shows it can compete against other regions, states and nations. Kudos to Mayor Reed and the City Council for a wise investment with a three-fold return.

Turning Red Tape to Red Carpet

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March 19  |  Government Relations  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought…  “Turning red tape to red carpet.”

The phrase coined by my friend and colleague Lucy Dunn, my counterpart at the Orange County Business Council, could not be more appropriate in describing the leadership of Assembly Speaker John Perez and his Assembly colleagues. The Assembly unanimously passed Speaker Perez’s Assembly Bill 113 on Monday to ensure the business filing processing time at the Secretary of State’s office is streamlined from a currently unacceptable 63 days to no more than 5 business days by November.

It recently came to light that the Secretary of State’s office has a backlog of at least 122,000 business filings, primarily from startups and small businesses. In an increasingly competitive world, large states like New York manage their filings within seven business days and Texas is down to five business days. Adding insult to injury, in the Golden State where the heart of technology reigns, much of the business filings process cannot even be done online as it is in these other states.

This is sound policy, coupled with standards and accountability, and solid leadership by Speaker Perez. It’s also why I was proud to be asked to serve as his primary witness before the Budget Committee and to speak first at his press conference upon passage of the bill off the Assembly Floor. I later met with state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg who proactively promised, similar quick action, in the upper House.

This is the type of bi-partisan action we need in Sacramento to keep California moving.

Bay Area Bid for Super Bowl

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March 13  |  Government Relations, Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Bringing the Super Bowl to the Bay Area would be – well – super!

Last fall, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee asked me to serve on the bay area Super Bowl Bid Committee, to bring the championship game to the 49ers new Santa Clara stadium in 2016 or 2017.

Joining 16 other Bay Area leaders, we have focused on logistics, transportation, media, hotel space and fundraising.

To successfully secure the Super Bowl, we must also show pledges totaling $30 million or more.  Thanks to the generosity of several companies in the Bay Area, many right here in Silicon Valley, nearly half of those pledges have been realized.

It all comes down to one day.  On May 21st, the 32 NFL team owners will gather to select the winning bid.  We have two chances:

>> For 2016, the bay area is competing against Miami, which has hosted more Super Bowls than any other region.
>> The loser of that vote then immediately competes against Houston for the 2017 Super Bowl game.

The economic impact of landing a Super Bowl exceeds $500 million for our region.

The social impact – priceless.

You don’t have to be a football fan to recognize the value in bringing tens of thousands of visitors to our region for the two weeks leading up to the game.

There’s another benefit as well.  Regional collaboration. Setting any vestiges of parochial politics aside, the mayors of San Francisco, Santa Clara, San José and Oakland have made for a formidable offensive line to bring the Bowl to the bay area.

Together, we can win this.  Game on.

CEO Business Climate Survey: Celebrate our Strengths, Work on our Weaknesses

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March 6  |  Education, Environment, Government Relations, Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

We recently released our tenth annual CEO Business Climate Survey – completed by 177 Silicon Valley CEOs and senior officers, who drive the earth’s innovation economy.

The message was clear – celebrate our strengths, while also acknowledging and addressing our weaknesses.

First, our strengths, which I call the “six “t’s” of Silicon Valley’s secret sauce:

* Access to skilled labor – talent
* Entrepreneurial mindset – temperament
* Proximity to customers and competitors – territory
* World class universities – training
* Access to venture capital – treasure
* The climate and weather – temperature

Second, our weaknesses:

* High housing costs
* High personal income tax rates for our workers and families
* Business regulations – especially the misuse of the California Environmental Quality Act
* Traffic congestion

The full survey results are available on our web site at Let’s make time to make a difference.