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Council looks to aid businesses

Bonds available near end of March could be used for buying land, buildings and equipment

Posted: February 8, 2010 10:52 p.m.
Updated: February 9, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita officials are trying to make millions of dollars in state tax-exempt bonds available to local businesses to help them through the recession.   

The City Council will consider creating an Industrial Development Authority that would act as a bridge between businesses and the state agencies that make the bonds available, city officials said.

The proposal was part of the city’s 21-point plan to become more business-friendly approved in April 2009.

“City Council asked us to look at any option to help businesses maintain through this recession,” said Jason Crawford, the city’s economic and marketing director. “This is one program we can put in place and take part in.”

The bond money could be used by businesses to buy land, buildings and equipment, said Administrative Analyst Denise Lellan. That money could not be used to pay for operational costs like trash pick-up, electricity or rent, she said.

“Once this is approved and we have an Industrial Development Authority, we’ll market it to businesses in the city,” Lellan said.

“(Santa Clarita officials) will make sure businesses take the proper steps to get the bond from the state.”

Applying for bonds could get local businesses large sums of cash.

Businesses that have offices only in Santa Clarita could get up to $20 million in bonds from the state, Lellan said. Businesses with locations in Santa Clarita along with other cities could get up to $40 million, she said.

California’s industrial development bonds have been around for about 30 years, Lellan said. If approved, it would be the first time Santa Clarita businesses could access the state bonds, she said.

If the program is approved by the City Council, the bonds would be available to businesses near the end of March.

The Industrial Development Authority would convene at regular City Council meetings when a business is being considered for the bonds, Lellan said.

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