For Hayward businesses and employees, the General Plan Update contains actions that the City will take to help support local business, expand and diversify the local economy, and create new, high-paying jobs. Economic development is designed to increase individual wealth, create employment opportunities, and generate revenues for the City. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the City, through the General Plan, is positioning itself to be ready for new opportunities that emerge during the recovery. The General Plan provides a foundation for Hayward’s economic prosperity.
Increasingly, businesses and employers are seeking to locate or expand in high-quality communities that have quality housing, amenities, and recreational opportunities that attract a skilled workforce and strong consumer base. They also want to be close to strong educational institutions that are creating a well-trained work force for a variety of jobs at all skill levels. The General Plan refined the City’s Economic Development Strategy to address business retention, evolving retail markets, and changing demographics.
The goals and policies of the Economic Development Element aim to improve Hayward’s economy and business climate for all companies located in the city. The implementation programs include specific actions that include: incentives for business that hire local employees, a business incubator feasibility study, a comprehensive business expansion and retention program, and improvements to the City’s permitting program.
The “City Image” goal (ED-5) and its policies strive to increase economic investment in Hayward by enhancing the overall image and reputation of the community. The policies in this goal do not aid specific businesses, but instead promote Hayward in its entirety. Other policies in the Economic Development Element commit the City to promoting industrial technology firms, airport-related businesses, and businesses that conduct international trade.
The City views Downtown Hayward as a community asset and the Land Use Element includes several policies that support its continued growth and vitality. The policies are within the Priority Development Areas goal (Goal LU-2). Notable policies include standards for retail frontages, encouragement for Downtown housing, and the drafting of a new Downtown Specific Plan.
The City of Hayward recognizes the economic potential of supporting entrepreneurship and the creation of new businesses. The Economic Development Element contains an entire goal section to supporting Hayward’s entrepreneurs (Goal ED-2). Business incubators, training programs, support programs for home-based businesses are just a few of the policies designed to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in Hayward’s residents.
A thriving, pedestrian friendly Downtown is an important community asset and serves as a gathering place for residents and visitors. The Land Use Element contains policies designed to foster a vibrant Downtown Hayward. Policies call for the City to encourage private-sector investment in Downtown arts and entertainment and to maintain Downtown as a center for shopping and commerce, among others. For a full list of policies dedicated to Downtown Hayward, see Goal LU-2. The Complete Streets policies in the Mobility Element encourage foot traffic by creating a safe, pleasant network of sidewalks and pedestrian spaces.