Attracting Business Development
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING BUSINESSES
Every city has a unique approach to fostering and enhancing economic development activities. The City of La Verne has chosen an approach with a vision to recruit potential businesses which further the goals, the policies, and the long-term vision of the City. The importance of establishing a strong economic base is essential to the financial stability of La Verne.
The City of La Verne is committed to enhancing local economic development, and, to further this commitment, established an Economic Development Subcommittee. The subcommittee, comprised of Council members and staff, is charged with developing policies, reviewing unique business related scenarios, and providing recommendations to business related proposals and agreements for City Council consideration. The subcommittee serves an important duty as sales tax is a key revenue stream enabling the City to provide essential services. The goal is to ensure the right mix of businesses is available to provide various services to the general public, local or otherwise.
La Verne has enjoyed a relatively low vacancy rate over the past several years. Multiple measures have been implemented to help promote the community as well as attract and retain retailers believed to be the “right fit.” These tools include a pdf marketing brochure highlighting the major advantages of locating businesses in La Verne, working with shopping center managers to engage sought-after retailers, development of an interactive mapping tool on the City website to easily identify all available retail locations, and, in select cases, being prepared to offer economic incentives to entice the most preferred businesses.
VERIFY BUSINESS LOCATION
When a business inquiries about locating in La Verne, the first step is to verify zoning for the proposed use. La Verne has several different zoning districts throughout the City, and each of those districts have a list of permitted uses, conditionally permitted uses, and prohibited uses. The City's zoning code does not regulate the quality of the type of business, but can only list different types of uses (e.g. retail sales, service, professional).
A permitted use or business must still obtain a certificate of use and occupancy and a business license, both of which are ministerial and required for every business. A conditionally permitted use requires the proposed business go through a public hearing before the Planning Commission. The process is discretionary and allows the Planning Commission to render a decision on the use with specific conditions to address any concerns that are raised about the business, or deny the business from locating at that location based on concerns about the public health, safety, and welfare. Property owners within 300' of the site are required to be noticed of the request for a conditional use permit and the public hearing for the proposed use, and a notice is also required to be published in the local newspaper. If a use is prohibited, the use is not allowed within the specific zoning district.
Since circa 1983, the City of La Verne has partnered with local businesses by entering into agreements to foster successful entrepreneurship and local business activity. During the early years of this business practice the City had access to Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funding. However, the dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2011 effectively halted the City of La Verne’s ability to progressively act on economic development activities.
In an effort to broaden the funding sources, and continue the partnership with local businesses, the City has developed the “Job Creation and Business Incentive Policy.” The Policy includes two programs which aid in supporting qualifying businesses and furthers the City of La Verne’s economic development effort. The first program is Community Development Block Grant Program which is geared towards job creation for low to moderate income qualifying level jobs, and funding through Federal funds as part of the Community Development Block Grant funding mechanism; refreshed every fiscal year (July 1). The second program is referred to as the Economic Base Enhancement Program which is geared towards local economic development, and no job creation requirement. The program is a one-time funding source per business, and funding for this program is through the City of La Verne’s General Fund.
From start to finish, the art of local economic development entrepreneurship, and attracting locally supported businesses to satisfy the community is quite a process. If you know of a business, or are a business which you believe is a good match for La Verne, please contact the Community Development Department at