As a daughter of a small businessman and former Chamber President, I love to see our local economy thrive! From our hawkish protection of the industrial potential of the 43-acre former Beckman-Coulter Headquarters site to CJ Foods’ multiple expansion projects, to our current focus on the Fox Block development, we are committed to growing our business sectors. We also have a few secret weapons-our colleges and universities who all come together to promote workforce development; our Economic Development Action Team, or EDAT, that helps business owners expand and establish new businesses in Fullerton; and our new city Economic Development Commission (EDC) which is led by former Chamber President Gary Graves.

Just last week, the City Council approved the EDC’s recommendation to update and expand our filming and photography program by partnering with FilmLA. This partnership will stimulate more filming in Fullerton, encouraging further investment in Fullerton’s businesses and services for the production crews and actors. FilmLA will provide marketing, proactive community outreach and intensive filming activity oversight and accountability to protect neighborhoods—and all at no cost to the City. We are only the second city in Orange County to partner with FilmLA and I know you join me in eagerly anticipating more views of Fullerton from the Big Screen.

With an unemployment rate less than 5%, below both the State and National averages our business climate is strong as you’ll see in this video…

Before we move on from here, I have to address the changing landscape of our retail economy. The internet has changed everything AND as you know, sales tax continues to be one of the biggest revenue sources for local government. When the State of California decided to tax internet sales, most people assumed that the move would level the playing field for cities like ours without traditional shopping or auto malls – unfortunately, it didn’t. The state government neglected to make needed changes to the state tax code. To put it simply, the allocation formulas for who gets sales tax continue to be based on the geographic location of retail establishments rather than the consumer population’s spending. Because of that, cities like ours are getting cheated. We estimate we’ve lost almost $1 million in the last year alone.

Our community must take the lead in righting this inequity and to that end, I’m calling on the North Orange County Chamber to partner with the city in creating a community coalition, whose mission is to make sure cities like ours up and down the State of California receive our fair share of sales tax by changing the allocation of sales tax from on-line purchases to be based on population rather than brick and mortar retail locations.