California: Good Vibrations

Location, economy, and culture are just a few reasons why so many businesses are attracted to California.

By BF Editors
From the July/August 2022 Issue

The Golden State is home to more than 38 million people and a host of major industries including IT, agriculture, entertainment, and tourism. One of the most geographically diverse states California encompasses nearly 160,000 square miles. Its lowest point—Death Valley—is well below sea level while its highest point­—Mt. Whitney—is nearly 14,500 feet high.

Skechers USA operates three million square feet in Moreno Valley, CA. (Photo: Moreno Valley Media Team)

With millions of acres of farmland, California leads the U.S. in agricultural production. In fact, the state produces more than 35% of the country’s vegetables and 70% of its fruits and nuts. Some 400 different commodities are produced in the state’s agricultural sector each year.

As much as it is known for its agricultural prowess, California is also well-known for its iconic landmarks and cultural institutions as well as national parks the likes of Sequoia, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Redwood, and Death Valley.

More than one-fourth of the state’s land area is preserved as recreational areas, national seashores, or wildlife refuges. But its appeal goes well beyond mountains and beaches. As a state, California contributes the most to the U.S. economy. In 2020, the GDP of California was about $3.1 trillion which makes its economy twice as large as Russia’s.

California’s economy and entrepreneurial culture makes it an attractive state in which to do business.

It’s impressive to note that more than half of all businesses started in 2014 were still operational as of a few years ago.

The state has long appealed to startup businesses, and activity remains strong today. According to the Kauffman Foundation, California has one of the highest percentages of people starting businesses and the best one-year survival rate. It routinely ranks in the Top 10 States to start a business in. San Jose, one of the largest tech centers in the U.S., is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and historically has attracted both start up and established businesses. For instance, eBay, PayPal, Adobe, Cisco, and Western Digital are just a few of the companies located here.

This spring, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced $120 million in California Competes (CalCompetes) grant awards that are projected to create more than 7,600 new, full-time jobs and bring more than $3 billion in new investments to the state during the next five years.

In addition, GO-Biz announced $66.4 million in tax credits that are projected to create nearly 4,000 new, full-time jobs in California. These awards will bring more than $645 million in new investments to the state during the next five years. One of the grant recipients, Applied Materials, plans to use its $30 million grant to develop next generation semiconductor manufacturing equipment in the U.S. The company expects nearly 700 full-time jobs to be created.

Growth In Moreno Valley

Successful companies looking to expand their brand know there is one location in Southern California that consistently beats the rest—the City of Moreno Valley.

Karma Automotive manufacturers the luxury Karma Revero at its 500,000 square foot Moreno Valley plant. (Photo: courtesy of Karma Automotive)

Karma Automotive and other Fortune 500 and international companies are thriving in Moreno Valley. At 4,500 businesses strong, Moreno Valley is home to:

  • ALDI Foods
  • Amazon
  • AYRO, Inc.
  • Cardinal Glass
  • Deckers Outdoor   
  • Floor & Decor
  • Harbor Freight Tools
  • iHerb
  • Keeco Bedding
  • LeGrand
  • Lowe’s Home Improvement
  • Masonite Doors
  • Medline
  • Nautilus Fitness
  • O’Reilly Automotive
  • Philips Electronics
  • Procter & Gamble
  • ResMed
  • Serta Mattress   
  • Sherwin Williams
  • ShipBob
  • Skechers USA
  • Solaris Paper
  • United Natural Foods
  • Walgreens

In the heart of Southern California, the City of Moreno Valley delivers accessible market opportunities, a qualified and motivated workforce, a pro-business environment, and the ultimate California lifestyle. Moreno Valley’s population of more than 217,000 makes it the second largest city in Riverside County and the 21st largest in California. Some 2.4 million people live in a 20-mile trade radius and form a strong workforce of 1.1 million.

The newly-approved World Logistics Center offers an additional 40.6 million square feet—the largest industrial corporate business campus in California.

Riverside University Health System Medical Center (headquarters for Riverside County’s hospital system, based in Moreno Valley) and Kaiser Permanente are both expanding their facilities by more than one million square feet each to meet strong regional demand.

Residential construction is adding new housing opportunities with close to 6,000 single and multi-family units under construction or in development.

The City has a skilled workforce of more than 104,000. March Air Reserve Base is the City’s largest employer with 9,600 employees.

Cost of doing business is low, with no payroll or local wage ordinance.   

Incentives: In Moreno Valley, time is money. Concierge service and a quick-response strike team assist developers and businesses with needs as they happen. And the City’s plan check turnaround times consistently beat other agencies in the region.

With its city-owned electric utility, Moreno Valley offers attractive electric rate discounts that range from 7% to 26.5%. Businesses may receive an additional 2-4% discount for hiring Moreno Valley residents. More rebates exist for solar power and energy efficiency upgrades.

The City also developed the “Hire MoVal” program, which offers business license fee waivers and reimbursements for local hire of graduates and veterans.    

The City-run Business & Employment Resource Center offers businesses free workforce recruitments, employee training, business consulting, workshops and job postings. 

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For businesses operating in imports and exports, Moreno Valley is a designated foreign trade zone. And under the Time and Materials program, businesses may be eligible for cost savings on post-entitlement Planning, Building & Safety, Land Development, and Fire Prevention plan check, permit and inspection fees.

Moreno Valley’s ideal location, business-friendly atmosphere and motivated workforce are why so many Fortune 500 companies have made it their home.

Want to learn more about doing business in California?

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