By: John Krikorian
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) announced the cities of Santa Clarita and Vernon as the winners of its annual “Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County” competition at its 13th Annual Eddy Awards.
The City of Santa Clarita emerged as the most business-friendly city in LA County for the cities with more than 50,000 residents. Santa Clarita does not assess a utility user tax, allowing businesses to save up to five percent or more on their electric, telephone, water, and gas bills, and it has recently been designated as a State of California Enterprise Zone. Santa Clarita offers its businesses and residents a highly educated workforce, available land for development, site selection assistance, and expedited plan reviews and permit processing.
It is also a thriving center for industry clusters such as aerospace manufacturing, bio-medical, entertainment, and technology. CNN/Money Magazine calls this city one of the Best Places to Live in California. They also boast the distinction of having the most “Outstanding New Economic Developer of the Year” on their staff, according to the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and have been recognized numerous times for their award-winning marketing materials.
The City of Vernon was selected as the winner for the category of 50,000 and fewer residents. Vernon provides its own water and natural gas service, fiber optic system, and its own electric utility company with rates that are consistently ten to 40 percent lower than those outside the City. Vernon does not have a utility user tax and its redevelopment agency has spent nearly $40 million on infrastructure improvements and land for economic development. The City offers a “one stop” service counter where questions regarding zoning requirements, building codes and/or public works can be answered. Vernon also boasts the distinction of being named Most Competitive among 12 other industrial cities (six in Southern California and six in other states), according to the Kosmont Companies business costs analysis report.
“We’re delighted to present our third annual award to these very deserving cities,” said Bill Allen, LAEDC president and CEO. “The cities of Santa Clarita and Vernon best represent what can be achieved when our city governments work side by side with the business community to create business-friendly environments where quality jobs can grow. Last year, the City of Lancaster was name Most Business-Friendly and the City of El Segundo was the inaugural winner for the “Most Business-Friendly City” award in 2006.
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the region’s premier business leadership organization, is a private, non-profit organization established in 1981. For information visit: www.LAEDC.org.