Huntington Beach, the 4th largest city in Orange County, California, has gone through many changes in its more than 200-year history. Originally a large cattle ranch, the city has been known by a variety of names, including Shell Beach, Smeltzer and Gospel Swamp, finally settling on Huntington Beach after railroad magnate Henry Huntington. The city is also nicknamed Surf City for its beautiful beaches and year-round surfing opportunities.
In recent years, Huntington Beach has continued to change, evolving from a largely agricultural town with a sleepy pier and main street area, to a tourist hotspot whose revitalized downtown boasts brand-name shops and swanky beach front hotels , as well as tall buildings with executive office space to lure local businesses.
Located less than an hour from Los Angeles and about two hours from San Diego, Huntington Beach is only a 20-minute car ride to John Wayne Airport and about 40 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport. With near perfect weather, the city is affected by a seasonal marine layer that cools off the coast in the early summer months. The U.S. Open of Surfing is the city’s biggest event, held every summer, and the downtown 4th of July Parade has been held every year since 1904.
In 2011, city officials revealed a “Ten Point Plan” to support and encourage local businesses. The plan spells out measures to cut the amount of red tape small businesses have to go through to open and grow. The plan includes fee deferrals and sponsorship opportunities for small business owners.
Getting involved in the Huntington Beach community couldn’t be easier for small business owners looking to make a difference; hundreds of activities take place in the city every year. Make it a point to stay in touch by downloading the City Manager’s weekly report to find out what events are taking place around the city. From “Compassion Games” to “Coastal Cleanup Days,” your business can make a name for itself by getting involved and participating in any way it can.
Although always considered a “green” city, due to the recent energy and water shortages, the city is making strides to do even more to conserve. City buildings and libraries have gone solar,and a Reusable Bag Ordinance now requires retail establishments to shift from offering plastic and paper carryout bags to having customers bring their own reusable bags. Make sure your marketing materials are targeted and preferably digital; Huntington Beach has partnered with a listing company to reduce “junk mail” for residents wishing to get off mailing lists.
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