Nicknamed Dogtown after local boys who became famous skateboarders in the 1970s, Santa Monica is both a scenic beach town and a busy business hub of professional offices and commerce. Home to celebrities, families, students and professionals, the city’s population is about 92,000. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and other parts of Los Angeles County and city, Santa Monica went through a gentrification in the 1980s,which led to significant job growth and increased tourism. Today, a light rail system is being built to connect Santa Monica to downtown L.A.
If you’re thinking about starting a business in the city or moving your business to Santa Monica, here are some things you should know:
1. Vibrant local economy
Buy Local Santa Monica was created by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica business community to encourage buying locally.
Just recently the city received the 2014 Cool Planet Award to reward the city’s efforts in energy policies and sustainability. One of the nation’s first cities to adopt a sustainability plan (in 1994), the city practices what it preaches by reducing waste and enacting water conservation policies. It has also adopted a Community Energy Independence Initiative with a goal to achieve complete energy independence by 2020. In addition, Santa Monica has developed a Zero Waste Strategic Operations Plan by which the city has set a goal of diverting at least 95 percent of all waste away from landfills, and toward recycling and composting, by 2030.
According to the Economic Development Division, Santa Monica has a high concentration of creative residents. In fact, nearly half of the adult population makes all or part of their living in arts-related fields. In 2007, the city adopted Creative Capital: A Plan for the Development of Santa Monica’s Arts and Culture.
To help local businesses compete globally, the city created the Santa Monica City Net, a suite of network solutions including dark fiber leasing and co-location services, to help improve operational efficiency and sustainability.
The Santa Monica Alliance is a collaborative effort of the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, dedicated to nurturing a vibrant business climate in Santa Monica.
Three main shopping districts exist in the city; each has its own feel and characteristics. Most famous is the Third Street Promenade in the downtown area. A major outdoor pedestrian-only shopping area that stretches across three blocks has also been redeveloped and is a mix of name brand and boutique stores and restaurants. For more about the downtown area see the Santa Monica Centric blog.
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