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Santa Clarita's 25th: Ferry highlights business opportunities

Posted: December 15, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Updated: December 15, 2012 4:00 a.m.
 

The city of Santa Clarita celebrates its 25th anniversary at the end of this year. In just a quarter century, it is remarkable to see the growth and progress in the community as a whole, but certainly in the business community.

While many of the area’s business owners were residents first, building a strong business base in Santa Clarita did not happen by accident. In fact, establishing a strong business community was a large driver in establishing cityhood.

And today, Santa Clarita’s successes are the result of the hard work and vision of public and private sector leaders and a host of programs and tools that make doing business in California better.

One example is the “Guide to Opening a Small Business in Santa Clarita,” which walks new business owners through the entire permitting process. The book is available online at Santa-Clarita.com and at City Hall, and includes step-by-step procedures to guide business owners through the process and hopefully eliminate some of the frustration that comes from getting a new business off the ground.

The city also restructured its permitting process in 2010, opening a “One Stop Permit Center” on the first floor of City Hall. The One Stop brought together community development, planning and building and safety in one convenient location, which ensures quick, convenient service. The city’s permitting process also went electronic in 2010, allowing permits and plans to be submitted and reviewed online through ePermits and ePlans.

Santa Clarita also boasts a number of business partners committed to helping companies succeed. The Small Business Development Center at the College of the Canyons’ University Center offers business plan consulting; access to business, marketing and financing experts; resources for business start up financing; and much more. The SBDC is conveniently located just down the hall from the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center, a partnership between the city and the college, which offers business owners access to a variety of job seekers and interview facilities to assist with growth and expansion.

The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, which is also based at College of the Canyons, is dedicated to attracting new businesses to the area and building upon our targeted industry sectors, while the Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Industry Association represent and support our local businesses.

Santa Clarita offers a variety of programs to help business owners retain more of their profits so that reinvestment in their company is possible. Business programs include the Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone, which has saved local companies more than $238 million and resulted in 1,226 people hired into local jobs since 2007; the Use Tax Incentive, which offers permit and cash rebates for business owners who designate their use tax payments to Santa Clarita versus the State; and the 10 percent local preference for Santa Clarita businesses, which specifies that if a local company is within 10 percent of a low bid on a project but is not the low bidder, the local business has the opportunity to match the low bid price and win the bid.

Santa Clarita is poised for continued growth as one of Southern California’s most sought-after business communities. And the city of Santa Clarita is doing everything possible to ensure the next 25 years of cityhood are as bright for business as the first.

Frank Ferry can be reached at: fferry@santa-clarita.com.

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