City of Los Banos taking new approach to bringing in business

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More people and homes means more business in Los Banos and along one road, you won't just see growth you'll hear it. (KFSN)

More people and homes means more business in Los Banos and along one road, you won't just see growth you'll hear it.

Vanessa Lovato opened up the Los Banos Academy of Music a little more than a year ago. She works in the bay area, but decided to bring the sounds of music to the ears of Los Banos kids.

Lovato said she grew up in Los Banos, and businesses like hers are possible because of the influx of new bay area residents.

"The new families coming from the bay area are bringing that openness with them, and that creativity with them."

It is local businesses like the academy that Los Banos city officials say they are trying to make easier for residents to start.

Economic Development Director Stacy Souza Elms said they have introduced a new interface called Open Counter. It allows people wanting to start a new business to answer a couple of questions, and see what it would take.

"It lets them know about zoning, what they need to do there and then it lets them know all the permits that would be required."

Owner Justino Flores of J and N Restaurant said he knows about starting a new business-- he opened his in September of 2015. He said it's always been his dream to own a restaurant, and with the growth of the city, his dream became a reality.

"When I got here, we only have Walmart and Kmart and Food For Less-- now there are so many new businesses."

Along with local stores, the city is changing their tune on how they bring in bigger business. They have hired a retail recruiter that analyzed the city's population and median income and matched them possible big box stores.

"The strategy has changed to pursue new economic development, pursue new businesses, and really target those establishments that we feel are quality, that would help improve the quality of life here," said Elms.

More than 60-percent of people living in Los Banos do commute to work in other areas. They also said not being a stop along the High Speed Rail will be a hit to economic development because people will have to leave the city to get on the train.

Related Topics:
businessmerced countyconstructioneconomyLos Banos
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