Letter: Davis Chamber of Commerce Supports the Aggie Research Campus

by the Davis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

At the Chamber of Commerce, we are aware of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage being done to virtually all businesses in Davis. This grim reality is the backdrop for the ongoing city review of the Aggie Research Campus (ARC). We believe ARC is a responsible and critical new development initiative that will be a key driver of economic growth for Davis and the region for years to come. This is strongly reinforced by the economic analysis.

For the financial well-being of our City and the many struggling businesses that call Davis home, we hope the City leadership recognizes the stakes and puts their full weight behind ARC.

According to the independent fiscal analysis produced for the City by EPS, Inc. the ARC will generate an annual General Fund surplus of nearly $1 million in the first phase of the project, reaching a $5.44 million annual surplus at full buildout. One-time fees are also significant, with the City receiving $113 million and the Davis Joint Unified School District receiving nearly $4.4 million. Countywide, the total annual economic impact of the project will reach $2.2 billion.

Emerging in the aftermath of the worst job losses our country has seen since the Great Depression, the ARC is projected to create more than 6,000 new jobs, generating $500 million in annual employee compensation and benefits, and will add more than 9,000 on-going jobs in Yolo County generating nearly $700 million in employee compensation and benefits. That is a customer base that our members, and especially the small businesses negatively affected by recent events, would like a chance to attract.

The ARC will accomplish this by attracting businesses that emerge from research being done at UC Davis to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, further strengthening our City’s proud ties to the campus, and by taking advantage of its strategically beneficial location between the Bay Area and Sacramento.

By any reasonable standard, the fiscal analysis is a ringing endorsement for the project. In the best of times, it is a worthy project that will provide tangible financial benefit for the City and its residents. In these times, we see the ARC as a fiscal stimulus proposal for Davis, generating significant and desperately needed revenue for the City and local businesses without new taxes.

We are proud to announce that the Davis Chamber of Commerce is a strong proponent of the ARC and will gladly lend out support to the initiative. We firmly believe that if given the chance a majority of Davis voters will show their support as well, at the ballot box.

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