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Growing Turlock
New economic director focuses on business retention, expansion
social media workshop
A City of Turlock partnership with the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center will provide business workshops, including the upcoming Social Media Summit on Aug. 29.

The City of Turlock is increasing its emphasis on economic growth as they have hired Economic Development Director Anthony Sims, who formerly served as the economic development manager for the City of Ceres. In Turlock, Sims will be looking to achieve a number of the City’s strategic economic goals.

“I have a passion for economic development and love the challenge of working with businesses to get to the next level.  I grew up in the area and have a passion to see progress and an increase in economic vitality for the City,” Sims said. “We are going to be a key partner for our local businesses and build collaborative relationships with the Turlock business community. We want to be a good resource for them when obstacles may arise, as well as celebrate their success with them as they grow their business.”

Sims explained that the City has already come up with key points of focus, one being helping improve business retention and expansion.

“Our goal is to meet with at least 100 Turlock businesses each year. We’ll be providing workforce development and talent development resources, marketing, as well as assistance with expansion efforts,” he said. “I’ve already met with about 20 and it’s been great to interact with the business owners. They’re incredibly dedicated and passionate and it’s going to be exciting to work with them.”

Sims would also like to see more businesses participate in community events, as there can be unique opportunities for them to promote themselves and connect with other businesses and community members. He added that networking events and other resources in Turlock will see an increase through new funding and unique collaborations between the City and other local organizations.

“Earlier this year the City of Turlock made a substantial investment in small business. The City utilized $481,338 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to assist small businesses in Turlock. This decision is a partnership with the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center, which will provide business workshops, one-on-one meetings and free business consulting to Turlock businesses and entrepreneurs for the next year and a half,” Sims explained.

Past workshops held include the Turlock Business Summit which was held in May and the Turlock Business Start-Up Workshop in late July. In addition, there is a Social Media Summit scheduled for Aug. 29 at the Carnegie Arts Center. Sims added that three more workshops are in the works for September.

“This economic development and business development strategy will bring the opportunity for business growth within the city,” Sims said.

He explained that growth within the city will have to include bringing new business to Turlock, such as trending retailers, franchises and manufacturing companies. Though there are several goals that will take time to accomplish, Sims expressed confidence for several reasons.

“For the first time in quite some time, we have a fully staffed executive team and we meet multiple times each week,” Sims said. “You can think of it as a ‘think tank’ and full collaborative effort to work hard for our residents and businesses, with our number one goal being to always improve the Turlock community.”