Duarte Selected Finalist for L.A. County’s
Most Business-Friendly City Award
DUARTE, CA, August 9, 2012 – For the third consecutive year, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) has selected the City of Duarte as one of five finalists
for the Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County award in the category of cities with a population of 60,000 and under. The winning city will be announced at the 17th annual Eddy Awards on Nov. 8 at the Beverly Hilton.
LAEDC created the “business-friendly” award category in 2006 to recognize cities with the County that are proactively promoting business-friendly programs and services.
"You are to be congratulated for your leadership and your city council and staff should take great pride in the role you are all playing to keep quality jobs in L.A. County," said, LAEDC President and CEO William C. Allen, in announcing Duarte's selection as a finalist.
In receiving the news, Duarte City Manager, Darrell George said, "It is rewarding to be recognized by your colleagues and economic development professionals for this honor. Business retention, expansion, and attraction has been and will remain at the top of our priority list even as we confront the challenges of difficult economic times, staff reductions, and the State's abolishment of redevelopment agencies."
Finalists in the category, which in addition to Duarte include the cities of Commerce, El Segundo, Glendora, and La Mirada, were selected based on:
- Demonstrated commitment to economic development as a priority.
- Excellence in programs and services designed to facilitate business entry, expansion, and retention.
- Economic development activity over the past three years.
- Competitive business tax rates and fee structures.
- Availability of economic incentives.
- Effective communication with and about business clients
The City of Duarte has a pro-business attitude mindset that is shared by its entire staff and is driven by the overarching desire to encourage economic development, bolster the City's economy, and create a better Duarte for residents and employees alike.
In the past year, Duarte has amended its Filming Ordinance becoming one of the first cities to adopt the California Film Commission's Model Ordinance and Guidelines for Best Practices in Film Regulations and Policies. In response to the voices of local struggling businesses, the City adopted a 12-month suspension of Code Enforcement on selected temporary sign regulations; and the City Council entered into a contract with "Nextdoor" to establish a private social networking site for local neighborhoods to foster neighbor and citywide social communication that also provides communication between residents and the local business community.
Duarte has set the standard that every employee be dedicated to the economic development goals of the City, with the Planning Department staff acting as economic development liaison for businesses desiring assistance. The City Manager, Community Development Director and other key staff outreach to the business community through regular business visits. Duarte supports quarterly business seminars on topics such as business management and website developments, hosts job fairs that focus on local businesses and workforce development, networking breakfasts and provides adequate staffing for its one-stop permit center in order to streamline the development process. These city-funded services provide Duarte businesses with critical assistance and exposure as an added benefit offered at little to no cost.
The LAEDC also announced finalists in the Business-Friendly City competition in the 60,000 population and over category. They are the cities of Baldwin Park, Glendale, Pico Rivera, Santa Monica, and Whittier.
The LAEDC is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1981 whose mission is to attract, retain, and grow businesses and jobs for the regions of Los Angeles County. Since 1996, the LAEDC has helped attract or retain over 175,000 jobs, providing more than $8.5 billion in direct economic impact from salaries and $145 million in annual tax revenue benefit to Los Angeles County.