SACRAMENTO—Corporate executives who haven't considered investingin California for a long time suddenly have new reasons to do so.That is according to a recent report from the Governor's Office ofBusiness and Economic Development.

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Gov. Jerry Brown is now rolling out the welcomemat to expanding companies with a “new set of tools in hisrecruitment arsenal.” Armed with new tax credits, more funding foreconomic development, balanced budgets and improved credit ratings,California now competes for jobs and industry without the burden offinancial shackles, says the Governor, who says that the resultsspeak for themselves (see below examples):

  • After years of stagnation, the California economy is growingfaster than the national average. The state's economy grew by 2% in2013, better than the US average of 1.8%. And after a slow start to2014, the state's economy grew by 4% in the second quarter of theyear.
  • California accounted for 14.2% of the country's net employmentgain in the second quarter of 2014, as state businesses added109,800 new jobs.
  • Nearly 700 California companies made the annual Inc. Magazineranking of the 5,000 fastest-growing firms in the country—by farthe most of any state. California boasts the No. 1 company on thelist—Fuhu, the El Segundo firm that makes large tablet computersfor kids - and four of the top 10.
  • California boasts the two highest ranking US metro areas inper-capita GDP: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($100,115) and SanFrancisco-Oakland-Hayward ($78,844).
  • California added 35,600 construction jobs from Aug. 2013 toAug. 2014 - the second highest amount in the country. The jumpincreased construction employment in the state by 5.6%.
  • Existing home sales in California rose by 6.9 percent duringthe second quarter of 2014.

These performance benchmarks have been set as Brown, theone-time mayor of Oakland and now three-term Governor, continues toremake the California business climate. “The capstone of thismakeover is the governor's $750-million annual plan to attract andretain business,” says the Governor's office.
After years of experimenting without much success with communitydevelopment programs, California scrapped them and replaced themwith new business tax incentives. The new programs include a taxexemption for R&D in manufacturing and biotech; a job taxcredit for increasing the number of full-time workers; and aCalifornia Competes tax credit given to companies that relocate orexpand in the state.

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One of the most recent business losses to the State wasToyota, which announced plans to slowly move its North Americanheadquarters to Dallas, TX. The move will take threeyears and displace approximately 2 million square feet ofspace.

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In a very busy September, Brown also signed legislationincreasing the state's Film and Television Tax Credit Program to$330 million a year for five years; signed electric vehiclelegislation to encourage the growth of electric cars and trucks onCalifornia roads and highways.
A few recent companies investing in California are ChinaZhongwang Holdings Ltd., which is investing $1.5 billionto build a new plant for aluminum extruded products in Barstow.Trinchero Family Estates is spending $300 million to expand itswine-making operation in Lodi; CaliCheese is investing $250 millionto build a new cheese plant in Tulare.
Projects like these, the Governor says, helped California achieve amajor milestone. By July 2014, California had overtaken Russia andItaly to become the eighth-largest economy in the world, at justover $2.2 trillion in GDP.”
Stephen Levy, director of the Center forContinuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, says thestate could gain on No. 6 United Kingdom and No. 5 France in thenext ranking. The bottom line, say state officials, is that “allthis economic growth means more jobs for Californians.”

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.