California already has a strong economy that is recovering quickly from the recent economic recession and already meeting pre-recession levels of exports. Recent legislation passed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown is aimed at restructuring and expanding the Governor's Economic Development Initiative. Comprised of 18 bills, this legislation intends to make doing business in California an even better prospect and to make it more difficult to lure California business away from the state.
The new economic measures passed by the California assembly are aimed at growing business and putting Californians to work by promoting research and development via the iHub program. This program brings together local governments, research institutions, economic development groups, community colleges, and venture capitalists to foster more innovation and job creation in research and high-tech fields. The iHub partnerships work together to help small businesses and start-ups succeed. The legislative measures also offer tax exemptions for purchases of equipment to be used for biotech and manufacturing companies.
Other parts of the legislation seek to drive new job growth by offering employers strong incentives to create jobs and hire new employees. They create hiring credits for businesses located in areas with the highest unemployment rates and poverty levels. Companies statewide can also compete for tax credits based on creating and retaining new jobs as well as the wage levels of those new jobs.
The new legislation also streamlines the process of foreign exporting and offers other tax reforms. In addition, the new tax measures make investing in small business stock more appealing for investors, clarifies tax rules under the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority, and reduces excise tax penalties on certain deferred compensation plans. It also creates a "Made in California" program to promote public awareness of products made in California and to encourage consumers to buy more California-made products.
Gov. Brown is committed to building a great business climate in California to encourage more small businesses and start-ups to grow and to attract large companies and investors. Recent years have seen numerous businesses move out of California to other states with pro-business stances, Texas being the primary location. These legislative measures are aimed at stopping businesses from choosing to leave California by making the state a more attractive place to do business, whether for companies that start here or for those that expand or relocate to California. These measures received strong bipartisan support in the California legislature because they put California on strong economic footing and seek to put many Californians back to work. The new measures follow other steps taken by Gov. Brown to strengthen California's economy, such as modernizing the workers' compensation system and improving the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance regulations. Gov. Brown also modernized the regulatory system for the timber industry and established the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, or GO-Biz, to lead the way in advancing economic development and new business opportunities.
With this new legislation, California is an even better place to do business, whether that’s starting a new small business or opening a new branch of an existing one.