By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

Small business ownerThe counties that make up California’s Central Valley often cannot compete with coastal areas in attracting businesses to locate in their area. But the Kern County Board of Supervisors just released a plan that would offer businesses incentives to set up shop there and to expand existing enterprises.

Board members will use a “litmus test” to determine a business’s economic and industrial significance. They are especially interested in attracting businesses that would create at least 100 new, full-time jobs or create at least 10 new jobs that would pay at least 200 percent of the county’s sustainable wage amount.

“This is an investment that will offer significant returns for Kern County residents,” Richard D. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Kern Economic Development Corporation, told Bakersfield.com. “Look at the Fresno region, for example, which stands to gain almost $3 billion in local wage income from its Amazon fulfillment center project, in exchange for a maximum of $30 million in tax credits. That’s a 100 to 1 return on investment! Other Valley communities (Visalia and Stockton) have also adopted enhanced incentive programs.”

The plan can be viewed here kedc.com/site-selection/incentives/ and is summarized here: http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices/community-voices-advancing-the-business-case-for-kern-county/article_59569006-ca83-11e7-9901-5f3d35fdacbe.html