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UPDATE: Expanded enterprise zone receives state approval

Posted: April 9, 2012 1:49 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2012 5:51 p.m.

The Santa Clarita Enterprise Zone will expand to include unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Valley following recent approval from the state of California, officials announced today.

Unlike the smaller existing enterprise zone within the city only, the new Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone will take in parts of unincorporated Los Angeles County.

The Department of Housing and Community Development issued a letter notifying city officials about the final approval Friday.

"The majority of our businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley are in the zone now," said Jonas Peterson, President and CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Enterprise zones are designed to stimulate growth in economically distressed areas throughout the state by generating new private-sector growth and investment.

This is achieved by offering performance-based tax credits and incentives to businesses located within the enterprise zone.

Businesses that join the Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone will be able to retroactively receive the benefits of the program from Jan. 1, 2011, Peterson said.

The Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone has been a partnership effort between the city, the county and the SCV Economic Development Corporation.

"The final designation of the Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone marks the beginning of a strategic opportunity to create jobs and strengthen the valley's reputation as a dynamic community to grow a business," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said in a statement.

"Implementing an aggressive targeted marketing plan will attract new businesses, jobs and investments in the Santa Clarita Valley."

Officials are expecting a large increase in the number of businesses that will apply for and use the enterprise zone benefits.

"It's a significant advantage for the entire Santa Clarita Valley business community," said Laura Biery, administrative analyst for the city of Santa Clarita's economic development division.

With the expected increase in businesses using the zone, job-hunters should also experience some of the benefits of the program, Peterson said.

Businesses receive hiring credits when they hire veterans, employees from certain neighborhoods, people who have been laid off, and ex-offenders.

"Our belief is that the enterprise zone will stimulate job creation for existing businesses and bring in new businesses," Peterson said.




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