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City OKs plan for business programs

Posted: March 13, 2012 9:05 p.m.
Updated: March 13, 2012 9:05 p.m.
 


The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved adding new programs — including a business incubator, changes to county business licenses and a plan for a conference center — to its business plan at its Tuesday night meeting.

Members of the business community, including representatives from the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., expressed support for the expansion and updates to the city’s business plan Tuesday night.

Part of the new program is the easing of fees for about 100 different types of businesses that have to pay county licensing fees — with the city taking over the regulation of such licenses, according to city officials. The goal would be to lower fees on businesses, such as restaurants, and have better regulation and control over about a dozen types of businesses, including pawn brokers, massage parlors and tattoo parlors.

Fees would be lower for most businesses, but they may increase for the businesses that are more highly regulated because of staff time, according to city officials.

Jonas Peterson, president and CEO of Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., said that he applauded the city of Santa Clarita’s efforts in supporting businesses.

“We’ve got the city approaching us with new ideas, new plans to help stimulate our economy,” Peterson said. “I think this plan will only strengthen our ability at the EDC to recruit and retain companies here in the city.”

The expansion to the 21-Point-Business Plan for Progress includes eight programs designed to help local businesses, encourage job creation and spur the local economy, according to city officials. While many of the eight programs are already under way, some of the programs — such as a business incubator that would allow startup businesses to have a place to grow, are brand new — said city officials.

The incubator would provide space for up to 10 startup businesses — mostly creative and technology businesses — to have an office as well as training for a marketing and business plan to help their businesses succeed. The businesses would likely remain in the program for about one or two years before leaving and renting their own space.

The business plan was first approved in 2009, but Mayor Laurie Ender asked that the plan be updated this year as part of her goals for 2012.

The two other new programs include a master plan for building a conference center and a movie ranch overlay zone that will annex a number of movie ranches in the north Saugus area.

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