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Our view: Economic reform starts here in the SCV

Posted: January 30, 2010 2:58 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2010 4:55 a.m.
If you lasted through the more-than-hour-long State of the Union speech last week, you heard President Barack Obama put a high priority on supporting small businesses and creating jobs.

"Jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010," the president said. "The true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses. ... We should start where most new jobs do - in small businesses."

We couldn't agree more.

And the news gets better: the Santa Clarita Valley's business community isn't waiting for a another Capitol Hill handout to stimulate the local economy.

With the recent creation of the SCV Economic Development Corp., the economic issues at hand - including unemployment and struggling businesses - are being tackled head-on.

Through a public/private partnership involving the city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County, the SCV Chamber of Commerce and a number of businesses, the EDC begins 2010 with some $400,000 in funding and goals of stimulating the local economy.

This may be a young community - the valley's seen its biggest growth spurt over the past 20 years - but we are rapidly becoming a major player in the Greater Los Angeles business community. An EDC will help us step up our game.

The Santa Clarita Valley needs to attract more businesses that create higher-income jobs.

We also need to support existing small businesses and stimulate growth of the small-business community.

We need to see our local unemployment numbers drop.

By all counts, the EDC is poised to work toward these goals of attracting, retaining and strengthening business.

We wish the EDC board well in its search to find an executive director who can bring vision, purpose and, most importantly, action to the position.

We salute the city and county for their faith in the Economic Development Corporation's vision. We trust the board will make its decision knowing that to whom much is given, much is required.

We call on the EDC board to include benchmarks for measuring success and full transparency among its top priorities.

As one of the valley's oldest businesses, we hope to see the EDC succeed in a mission of doing what's best for all SCV businesses - truly, what's best for the community.


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