New bills hope to make luring California business away harder

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

(photo credit: buddawiggi)

Watch out, Texas. California is coming after that title of “Friendliest State to do Business.” California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed 18 bills to strengthen the state’s business climate.

“In my opinion, all of these bills add up to the most aggressive pro-business, pro-economic growth, legislative sessions that have come out of Sacramento in a very long time.”,” said Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).

The bills the Governor signed include measures to increase small business lending, streamline foreign exports, stop retroactive taxation of entrepreneurs, and formalize the nation’s largest network of state sponsored Innovation Hubs, or iHubs.

“California has tremendous benefits for doing business in the state. There’s a reason businesses want to do business here and invest here, but we definitely need to create a climate that makes them stay here, makes it more attractive, inspires greater investment and gives businesses even greater confidence that by investing in California, they’re going to get tremendous returns and tremendous value for being here,” said Rajan.

Here are some highlights:

  • AB 250-Expands and codifies California’s Innovation Hub (iHub) Program at GO-Biz. Related CAeconomy Video: Growing Robots: How California‚Äôs innovation gets done in iHub program
  • AB 1067-Establishes the California Foreign Investment Program, within GO-Biz, as the lead entity for overseeing the state’s participation in the United States Citizenship Immigration Services’ EB-5 Investment Program.
  • AB 1247-Places administration of the small business financial development corporation (FDC) managed programs in the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank within GO-Biz.

The recent measures build on legislation signed in July known as the Governor’s Economic Development Initiative (AB 93 and SB 90). The initiative helps put Californians to work by establishing a statewide sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment and research and development equipment purchases for biotech and manufacturing companies; hiring credits for businesses in areas with the highest unemployment rate and poverty; and provides the opportunity for state businesses to compete for available tax credits based on the number of jobs to be created and retained, wages paid in those jobs and other factors.

 “I was on a panel, in San Diego, recently with a gentleman from Texas, who commented, in front of a large crowd, that he had been very involved in managing Texas’s enterprise funds by attracting businesses out of California. He said because of the Governor’s leadership and the way GO-Biz is executing that leadership, California are making their lives much more difficult and much harder for them to lure businesses away,” said Rajan.

Governor Brown has made it clear that his priority is creating a business friendly climate and revamping the state’s economic program. Focusing on these initiatives will make California a state to be reckoned with in the long term.

“California is clearly turning a corner, heading in that direction, sending the right messages that doing business in our state is very valuable.”


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza