The Center of the California Enterprise Zone Information Universe

A Local Perspective

Sometimes it’s helpful to hear directly from a business owner to appreciate the incredible complexity of variables that can affect their success and how the Enterprise Zone factors into that context.  This perspective can provide a counterbalance to statistical studies that cannot account for the full range of issues that businesses have to deal with.  Here is one such testimonial printed in the San Bernardino Sun:

As the owner of a business located in the San Bernardino Valley Enterprise Zone, I read with surprise the recent news about a study which the questioned the value of Enterprise Zones in California.

There appears to be a disconnect between the academic process that led to this study’s conclusions and the real world experience of those of us who utilize the program and see its results.

My family-owned motorcycle dealership, Chaparral Motorsports, has been in business since 1980. We employ almost 200 people and have worked very hard to build our company into one of the top motorcycle dealerships in the nation.

I found out about the Enterprise Zone hiring tax credit two years ago and was surprised by the ease of using this tax incentive program.

We gather a small amount of information, file vouchers, and get a tax deduction at the end of the year. The first year we filed for employee tax credits and these made a considerable difference in our bottom line. This year, we will also file for tax credits for equipment we’ve purchased. The savings may be double of last year.

Taxes and fees continue to increase year after year in California, making it harder and harder to operate a business in this state. Any amount we can save makes a huge difference.

In an economy like the one we are dealing with now, these incentives are more important than ever to help protect jobs. Certain aspects of the Enterprise Zone program have allowed us to train and employ more workers. Without the San Bernardino Valley Enterprise Zone, there would be fewer people employed.

We are not the only business with this sentiment. California’s Enterprise Zone program is vital to the continued success of hundreds of businesses throughout the state.

These zones are the only business friendly regions in what is known to be a state with a high-cost of doing business and heavy regulatory environment. The tax incentives for buying equipment and hiring employees are what we need to keep ours and many other businesses in the state healthy.

The San Bernardino Valley Enterprise Zone launched a concentrated effort to help businesses in the region become aware of the tax incentives available to them. As a result of this outreach, I am now saving a considerable amount of money. This money goes directly back into my business and its ability to hire and retain employees, which increases our competitiveness.

If the government wants more people employed and more businesses to thrive in California, then it should consider expanding tax incentives, such as those available through the Enterprise Zone. And future studies of the Enterprise Zone program need to take into consideration the real world impact to actual business owners who participate in the program.

At Chaparral Motorsports, we are pleased to be able to participate in the Enterprise Zone Tax Incentive Program and encourage any business located within the zone to take part in this program as well.

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