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Santa Clarita launches ‘21-Point Business Plan for Progress’

Posted: April 29, 2009 3:48 p.m.
Updated: April 29, 2009 5:49 p.m.
 
The Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday approved an unprecedented "21-Point Business Plan for Progress," investing more than $5.1 million in new programs and incentives aimed at boosting the local economy now and well into the future.

The 21-Point Plan for Progress is a result of the City Council's request to staff to outreach to the local business organizations and the business community and provide ideas to spur the local economy in the short and long-term. The City Council adopted the plan in a 5-0 vote at the regular City Council meeting.

The plan calls for use of both general fund dollars and federal stimulus monies to implement.

The 21-Point Plan boasts a variety of innovative programs, including a first-ever film incentive program (FIP), providing subsidized permit fees and a TOT rebate program for locally based productions. The FIP is designed to strengthen incentives recently introduced by the state, helping to retain valuable productions and entertainment companies in Los Angeles.

Also included is a $250,000 "Think Santa Clarita Valley" Shop Local(ly) campaign to promote the area's abundant retail, dining, and professional service offerings among residents, businesses, and audiences in greater Los Angeles, in an effort to support locally-based companies.

"I am very pleased with the 21-Point Business Plan for Progress the city will be undertaking this year in partnership with several community organizations. I believe these directives will go a long way towards improving the local economy quickly and effectively," commented Frank Ferry, Mayor.

Since the city of Santa Clarita's incorporation in 1987, staff has worked to make doing business within the city as simple as possible. As part of the 21-Point Plan for Progress, Santa Clarita will create a development one-stop at City Hall, helping to streamline the permit process and expedite business permitting needs.

Based upon requests from the business community, the city will review and update its development process by introducing new technology, allowing business owners to submit their plans and receive permits online, saving time and money.

As part of the plan, the city of Santa Clarita will invest $50,000 to broaden marketing efforts for the city's Enterprise Zone program.

Since the city was designated an Enterprise Zone a year and a half ago, the program has generated a potential $14,689,000 in savings to local business, a number the city believes is only a small portion of what can be achieved with increased awareness about the program and its benefits.

The Santa Clarita City Council also approved further review and consideration of a hotel business improvement district (BID), which could potentially generate hundreds of thousands of dollars to support tourism attraction to the Santa Clarita Valley.

The city of Santa Clarita already works closely with tourism partners like Six Flags California, Westfield Valencia Town Center, and local hotels and tourism-minded businesses to market the area and support regional and national tourism, which contributes more than $10 million annually to the local economy.

A Use Tax incentive for business expansion program was also approved, whereby business owners that direct use tax payments in excess of $20,000 annually would qualify for subsidized permit fees or rebates, directly improving local business' bottom line.

Other aspects of the plan include: maximizing federal stimulus dollars for infrastructure projects that benefit the community; directing federal dollars towards Neighborhood Stabilization Programs that proactively address local vacant and foreclosed homes; improving the WorkSource Center; increasing the city's incentive to purchase locally from 5 percent to 10 percent; and working with local public and private partners to create an Economic Development Corporation for Santa Clarita.

Most of the programs detailed in the 21-Point Plan for Progress will become active this coming May. Some programs requiring additional research, community collaboration, and/or direction based on federal rules and guidelines will be implemented as soon as possible.

The city of Santa Clarita was founded in 1987 and remains one of Southern California's most sought-after communities in which to live, work, and play, recognized as one of the best economies in California by Union Bank.

In 2008 the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation named the city of Santa Clarita "Los Angeles County's Most Business Friendly City," and the California Association for Local Economic Development recently recognized the city's Small Business Program as the "Best Economic Development Program" in the state for 2008.

This marked the third consecutive year the city took home top honors from CALED for its business programming, as the city was recognized in 2006 for its Film Santa Clarita Program and in 2007 for its Tourism Program.

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