HUD No. 03-111
October 21, 2003
BERNARDI PROMOTES $26 BILLION TAX SAVINGS PROGRAM TO CALIFORNIA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Santa Ana bakery cited as Empowerment Zone success story
LOS ANGELES - When Mark Press opened the Gold Coast Baking Company in 1989, he had no idea that his hallmark sourdough bread would mean significant tax savings, allowing him to hire dozens more workers in a Santa Ana neighborhood known for its high poverty, gang violence and joblessness. Today, the Gold Coast Baking Company and thousands of other small and large businesses located in California's eight federally designated Empowerment Zones and Renewal Communities are eligible to share in $26 billion in tax incentives.
The tax incentives that have proven such a stimulus to Press are among those the Bush Administration is aggressively marketing to thousands of businesses located, or are considering locating, in 80 distressed communities around the nation.
Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Roy A. Bernardi today launched a two-day conference in Costa Mesa designed to encourage business owners, tax consultants, capital investors, faith-based organizations and other community-based groups to take advantage of these incentives that can significantly cut their tax liability. Bernardi and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido also toured the bakery, which operates 24-hours a day and employs 120 workers.
"The message is clear - it's good to do business in California's Empowerment Zones and Renewal Communities," said Bernardi. "From the smallest business to the largest firm that locates in these areas, the tax benefits that are now available can make all the difference in terms of expansion and bringing more jobs to neighborhoods that desperately need them."
"I am very proud of our numerous accomplishments, our collaborative efforts with community partners, and our relationship with HUD that have resulted in an improved quality of life for the residents in our zone," said Mayor Pulido.
Press said, "This is an all-American dream. Without these tax incentives I wouldn't have been able to grow my business from a two-person operation to 120 employees. I began baking by hand in a small 4,000 square foot facility. Today, we work in an 80,000 square foot automated plant and we're rolling in the dough!"
There are eight Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Renewal Communities (RCs) in California: Los Angeles (EZ and RC); Santa Ana (EZ); Fresno (EZ); San Diego (RC); San Francisco (RC); Orange Cove (Rural RC); and, Parlier (Rural RC).
Last year, HUD Secretary Mel Martinez announced eight new Empowerment Zones and 40 Renewal Communities as part of HUD's initiative to generate business activity and job growth in these distressed neighborhoods. Businesses that locate or remain in these designated areas are eligible to share in a wide variety of tax incentives - from wage credits, accelerated tax deductions, partial or total capital gains exclusions and increased bond financing to bring jobs and restore economic vitality to these areas.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.