Despite the state of California’s slow progress on finalizing the expansion to the Santa Clarita Valley Enterprise Zone, the SCV Economic Development Corp. is making preparations to launch a marketing and outreach campaign.
Currently, the SCV Enterprise Zone covers more than 97 percent of the city of Santa Clarita’s commercially and industrially zoned properties. The expansion will add properties in the surrounding unincorporated areas including Castaic, Canyon Country, Stevenson Ranch, developments such as the Valencia Commerce Center and additional parcels within the city.
The expansion of the SCV Enterprise Zone was conditionally approved Dec. 15. Subsequently, the entire California Enterprise Zone Program became part of a protracted budget debate between Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature. Brown proposed eliminating the state’s leading economic development program as a cost-saving measure.
Ultimately the program sidestepped elimination, but several conditionally approved zones are still awaiting the final go-ahead from the state, including the SCV’s expanded enterprise zone.
“The good news is that we aren’t sitting idle on this issue,” SCVEDC President Jonas Peterson said. “Working with the county of Los Angeles and the city of Santa Clarita, we are readying a marketing campaign and, more importantly, we now know the zone’s effective date will be Jan. 1 of 2011.”
The retroactive effective date means that companies in the zone will be able to qualify hiring and investing activity that occurred in all of 2011.
“We want to be clear that applications will not be processed until final approval of zone expansion is granted from the state,” Peterson said. “However, there is no reason to delay hiring or investing. When final approval does come, businesses in our unincorporated areas will be able to apply for benefits based on 2011 activity.”