SCV ranks among top five most ambitious business cities

Six Flags Magic Mountain can be seen in the distance, looking south-west over the Industrial Center in Valencia. 070121. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Santa Clarita Valley’s business-friendly atmosphere has put it on the map nationwide as it ranked among “the most business-savvy” cities in America. study titled “The 15 Most Ambitious U.S. Cities” ranked Santa Clarita No. 4 on its list, which looked at cities with at least 100,000 residents. 

“We’re proud to have Santa Clarita rank fourth as the most business-ready city in the U.S.,” said Ivan Volschenk, managing partner for Evolve Business Strategies, which manages the SCV Chamber of Commerce. “We have worked diligently and closely with the city of Santa Clarita to ensure that our city continues to prosper and be a business-friendly city.”

The study uses 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a weighted scale comprising each city’s average household income, unemployment rate, percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher, number of applications to start a business, percentage of population that starts a business and homeownership rate.

Amazon Delivery location in the Commerce Center in Valencia. 070121. Dan Watson/The Signal

In looking at the criteria used, Jason Crawford, city of Santa Clarita planning, marketing and economic development manager, said he can understand why the SCV received the ranking and that it’s great to be recognized as such.

“With three local colleges, College of the Canyons, CalArts and The Master’s University, preparing students, we have a highly educated workforce that helps local businesses remain competitive and attract companies with high-quality jobs to the area,” Crawford said. “Additionally, the city of Santa Clarita’s Business Incubator program (helps) our local entrepreneurs kickstart their ideas by connecting them to local resources that help grow their idea into a successful business.”

Volschenk also noted that it is very rewarding to know that Santa Clarita is thriving in those categories.

“Given the past 15 months of what everyone has been through, this ranking is a testament to the work our business community has put in, and continues to put in, to ensure we have a healthy business climate,” Volschenk added.

View from above the Commerce Center in Valencia. 070121. Dan Watson/The Signal

Of the 15 cities, eight were in California, with Santa Clarita coming in behind West Covina and Torrance, and ahead of Carlsbad, Norwalk, Thousand Oaks and Fremont.

“With 70% of the homes labeled as owner-occupied, residents of Santa Clarita save plenty of capital for business ventures,” the study stated.

Volschenk went on to highlight some of the SCV’s unique factors, such as its top-tier school system, business retention, business growth and community support, all of which, and more, make the SCV an enticing community for businesses to invest in.

The SCV consistently ranks among the top places to live and work, with Holly Schroeder, CEO and president of the SCV Economic Development Corp. saying she’s pleased, but not altogether surprised for the community to receive the No. 4 ranking.

“Santa Clarita and its residents are resilient and have worked tirelessly for years to build one of the best communities in Los Angeles County,” Schroeder said. “We bounced back quickly from the challenges of COVID-19. An extremely diverse list of industry clusters, unique availability of commercial, residential and industrial real estate, as well as substantial business and tax incentives for employers. These reasons and so much more, are why Santa Clarita continues to be one of the most business-friendly and ambitious cities in the country. And we are not slowing down anytime soon.”

The Center at Needham Ranch in Newhall. 070121. Dan Watson/The Signal

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