Promoting a "business-friendly environment" and touting the city's quality of life were themes Wednesday at the annual Redlands State of Community luncheon at University of Redlands.
"Robust economic development is among the highest priorities of this city council as a means to create jobs for our residents, invigorate our community, enhance our tax base and provide a healthy revenue source to fund the services and activities that make Redlands a special place to live and work," Councilman Paul Foster said in prepared remarks.
A catering supervisor estimated more than 100 people were in attendance at the Orton Center.
Videos produced by the city of Redlands emphasized a business friendly environment with office, retail, and industrial spaces available, as well as local shopping, boutiques and family-owned businesses.
Approximately 10,000 people attended recent June is Jumpin' events downtown, which included Surfin' State Street, the Wine, Beer & Music Festival, and the city's first food-truck event, Foster said.
"During the fiscal year that just ended over 400 business licenses were issued in our city," Foster said. "This is a 10 percent increase over fiscal year 2010-2011. So while we saw property taxes decline we saw healthy growth in our sales tax revenue . . . .
"We are working diligently with city staff and our community business leaders to continue to turn around the negative image of being anti-growth and business-unfriendly," Foster said. "This reputation has hurt our community in the past and we are committed to ensuring through streamlining our planning and building process, that we will turn that negative image into a positive one. . . .
"Carry the word that Redlands is 'open for business,'" Foster said.
Other videos produced by the city of Redlands focused on quality of life, health care, public safety, volunteerism, Smiley Library, the Redlands Bowl, and local festivals and events such as the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Mayor Pete Aguilar listed three priorities during his remarks: invest in physical infrastructure including roads and public safety vehicles, continue work with youth and family services and programs, and continue information technology investments in city offices to increase city responsiveness to residents' needs.
Aguilar and other members of the Redlands council also addressed questions about a possible "" from the city of San Bernardino's decision Tuesday night to seek bankruptcy protection.
State Assemblyman Mike Morrell, state Sen. Bob Dutton, and Third District Supervisor candidate James Ramos of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians attended the luncheon.
The event was presented by the Redlands Chamber of Commerce and First California Bank. Lunch reservations were $30 and there was room for people who did not want lunch to sit in the back for no cost.