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Kings County BOS Sends Letter to Capitol in Support of Enterprise Zone Program

The following is the text of a letter authorized by the Kings County Board of Supervisors (Scan of the original letter here):

March 2, 2010
The Honorable Manuel Perez
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Assemblyman Perez,

This is no question that the State’s Enterprise Zone Program is under scrutiny like never before. Some benefits have been “temporarily” reduced, while the Legislative Analyst’s Office has recommended complete elimination. On behalf of Kings County businesses, we feel strongly that eliminating the Enterprise Zone program would cause irreparable harm to our businesses and, by extension, our communities.

Kings County is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our population and industrial centers are some distance
away from the major highways running nortldsouth through the Valley creating a challenge for business attraction. Our unemployment rate typically exceeds 150% of the state’s rate. Without the advantages created by the Kings County Enterprise Zone, we probably would not have the largest mozzarella cheese plant in the world, or a large plastic tank manufacturer from Minnesota, or a flavors & fragrances manufacturer from Los Angeles. Nor would our “mom & pop” businesses survive in these difficult economic times. Literally hundreds of our citizens are thankful for the employment opportunity made available due to the Kings County Enterprise Zone.

The Enterprise Zone program was designed to help revitalize struggling communities, bolster local economies, and help the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our communities get a hand up, not a hand out.

Newspapers and the internet are full of stories about companies that have shut down or left California in the past few years, including some big names, like Boeing, Nissan and Hilton Hotels. Here in Kings County, those names are Pirelli Tires, Candlewiclc Yarns, and Homac Manufacturing. There are numerous small to medium businesses who struggle today but would be faced with closure without the Enterprise Zone program.

California suffers from the impression, real or imagined, that we are not a business friendly state. How can eliminating our most effective business assistance strategy change that perception for the better? We implore you to do everything within your power to encourage a pro-business attitude in Sacramento, encouraging job creation and supporting entrepreneurs trying to gain traction in this challenged region of our state. Please help us retain the California Enterprise Zone business incentive program.

Richard Valle, Chairman
Kings County Board of Supervisors

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