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Lancaster recognized

Only city to win the award the ‘Most Business-Friendly’ in L.A. County twice

OW Staff Writer | 11/22/2013, midnight

The city of Lancaster was named “Most Business-Friendly City” at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) 18th annual Eddy Awards this week. Lancaster is the first city in the history of the program to have won the award twice; its first win was in 2007.

“We are deeply honored that an organization of this caliber has once again recognized Lancaster with this very prestigious award,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Since 1996, LAEDC and its president, Bill Allen, have played a key role in many of Lancaster’s recent successes, including the attraction of BYD’s e-bus and battery manufacturing facilities.”

The LAEDC is the premier economic development organization in Los Angeles County, and since 1996 has helped retain or attract more than 190,000 annual jobs in the county with an estimated labor income of $11.8 billion.

During the ceremony, the city of La Mirada was also named Most Business-Friendly Smaller City, with a population under 50,000.

“This year’s Most Business-Friendly Cities, Lancaster and La Mirada, understand that domestic and global competition for jobs, businesses and entire industries has never been fiercer,” said Allen, LAEDC president and CEO. “The city of Lancaster vigorously competes by training its residents for tomorrow’s jobs, not for yesterday’s; by keeping costs and fees down to attract new businesses and jobs; and by supporting its start-up sector, which will drive the city’s economic growth in the future.”

The winners were selected based on the following criteria:

• Demonstrated commitment to economic development as a priority

• Programs and services designed to facilitate business entry, expansion, and retention

• Economic development activity over the past three years

• Competitive business tax rates and fee structures

• Availability of economic incentives

• Effective communication with and about business clients

“Considered one of the least expensive places to conduct business by the Kosmont-Rose Survey, Lancaster’s economic stimulus package, streamlined permit process, and reduced transactions fees have spurred economic, community and real estate development,” states a press release issued by the LAEDC. “The downtown revitalization project created a vibrant urban center with 50 new businesses and hundreds of new jobs.”

In addition to the Most Business-Friendly City Awards, the LAEDC also recognized three world-class private sector entities for their outstanding contributions to economic development in Los Angeles County: SpaceX, Yang Ho Cho, and USC.

SpaceX designs, manufacturers, and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, who also played an integral role in the creation of PayPal and currently holds key leadership positions with Tesla Motors and SolarCity, the company is revolutionizing space technology. SpaceX continues to expand and create aerospace jobs in Los Angeles County, with nearly 3,000 local employees. SpaceX and its highly skilled workers are reinforcing the reputation of Los Angeles County as a leader in innovation and aerospace ingenuity.

Yang Ho Cho is the chairman, CEO and major shareholder of the Hanjin Group, a global transportation conglomerate of 45 companies in the aviation, maritime and ground transportation industries which include Korean Air, Hanjin Shipping, Hanjin Transportation as well as ground handling companies, private educational institutions, and not-for-profit foundations. Cho is making a significant investment in the construction of a world-class building at the site of the former Wilshire Grand hotel in downtown Los Angeles. It is estimated that the project will infuse $1 billion into the local economy, producing as many as 11,000 temporary and 1,750 permanent jobs while strengthening the region’s travel and tourism industry.

USC is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles and a global center for arts, technology, and international business, USC enrolls more international students than any other private research university in the U.S. It is also the largest private employer in Los Angeles. The university recently launched the USC Village redevelopment, the largest economic development project to be proposed in South L.A, which will generate approximately 12,000 new jobs—4,000 construction-related and 8,000 permanent.

“We are truly honored to have been recognized alongside such global titans of commerce and education as SpaceX, Yang Ho Cho, and the University of Southern California,” added Parris. “On behalf of the city of Lancaster, I would like to thank the LAEDC for organizing this world-class program and for honoring us with this prestigious award. We will continue to work side-by-side with our stellar business community to ensure that our city remains the most business-friendly.”