Mayor Swearengin Praises Council Vote In Support of Enterprise Zones
Mayor Ashley Swearengin today praised Fresno City Council for passing a resolution opposing Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to end Enterprise Zone tax incentives.

“Now is not the time to dismantle a tool that has proven to be instrumental in job creation and economic revitalization in some of the state’s hardest hit areas,” Mayor Swearengin said. “In the City of Fresno, we widely market and utilize the Enterprise Zone program as a vital tool in our limited arsenal of incentives that can be used, and it is making an impact.”

According to the resolution, in fiscal year 2010 alone, 488 businesses in the City of Fresno utilized the Enterprise Zone Hiring Tax Credit, aiding in the creation and retention of nearly 1,200 and 6,000 existing jobs. In particular, the program has helped workers who have barriers to employment.

Gov. Brown’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of Enterprise Zone funding and programs effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Local business owners also voiced their support for continuing enterprise zone incentives.

“Our business would not be possible without the tax credits provided by the Enterprise Zone. If the program is repealed we will have to lay off workers, putting more people on the unemployment line, and may have to move our headquarters,” said John Shegerian, chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International. “We understand that the state has tough budget decisions to make, but it makes no sense to kill one of the few programs that creates jobs and helps California’s small businesses compete with out-of-state companies.”

“The enterprise zone program has been a crucial part of our success,” said Chris Adolph of Adolph Foods, located in an enterprise zone in south Fresno. “In our line of work, the enterprise zones help to ensure that State contracts are awarded to California businesses which provide California jobs.”



WHEREAS, the California’s Enterprise Zone originated through the enactment of two programs in 1984 – the Enterprise Zone Act and the Employment and Economic Incentive Act; and
WHEREAS, the Enterprise Zone provides a geographically-targeted economic development tool designed to improve the poor and blighted communities in California by creating incentives for businesses to hire employees with barriers to employment; and
WHEREAS, the City of Fresno initially secured an Enterprise Zone designation in October of 1986 and again in October of 2006; and
WHEREAS, the City of Fresno and the State of California are experiencing a significant economic crisis resulting in unusually high unemployment rates; and
WHEREAS, high unemployment rates contribute to an increase in poverty, crime, and foreclosures; and
WHEREAS, the City of Fresno Enterprise Zone has worked to combat these economic problems by utilizing the Enterprise Zone’s incentives to encourage local business retention and expansion, as well as new business attraction; and
WHEREAS, in Fiscal Year 2010, 488 businesses in the City of Fresno took advantage of the Enterprise Zone program, aiding in the creation and retention of nearly 1,200 new and 6,000 existing jobs; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of California has proposed to eliminate all Enterprise Zone funding and programs effective January 1, 2011
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE Council of the City of Fresno as follows:

1. The Enterprise Zone program is one of the most impactful State tools available to create jobs, grow existing businesses, and compete with other states to attract outside investment to California; and
2. The Enterprise Zone Program has had a significant positive effect on business activity and economic growth in the City of Fresno; and
3. The elimination of the Enterprise Zone Program would be a setback to improving California’s business climate and achieving economic recovery.