Opportunity Coachella Includes a Business Attraction Competition and Community Engagement Survey Awarding over $15,000 in prizes specific to the City’s Opportunity Zones.
COACHELLA – The City of Coachella Economic Development Office today, Monday, June 7, launches Opportunity Coachella, a business attraction competition and community engagement survey awarding over $15,000 in prizes specific to the city’s Opportunity Zones.
The business attraction competition will accept applications from companies of any size seeking to launch, expand, or relocate to the City of Coachella and the adjacent unincorporated communities of Thermal, Mecca, and North Shore. The city has prioritized three categories of businesses in high demand, including clean technology/clean energy, recreation/lodging, and manufacturing/advanced manufacturing and will award incentives prizes of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000, in addition to its existing business incentive packages, for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize businesses chosen by a panel of judges. There will also be a $1,000 prize for Community Choice selected by open voting to the community.
The goal is to foster entrepreneurship in the community, create additional jobs from expanding businesses, bring additional in-demand services to our residents, and increase awareness of our Opportunity Zones and the possibilities in the city for development.
“We are excited to announce the launch of Opportunity Coachella,” Mayor Steven Hernandez said in a prepared statement. “This is a great opportunity for Coachella to attract new businesses or businesses in transition that may want to relocate. “We want to make the most of this opportunity where businesses reap the tax incentives become more profitable while our residents benefit from good paying jobs that are close to home.”
This initiative was made possible through a grant awarded to create an Opportunity Zone prospectus and community engagement plan, and the City of Coachella engaged several partners to bring this initiative to life.
The community engagement survey awards up to $5,000 by random drawing on $50 prepaid Mastercards to residents of the City of Coachella and the adjacent unincorporated communities of Thermal, Mecca, and North Shore. The community engagement survey was designed in partnership with the UCR Center for Social Innovation and encourages residents to share their vision for a “Coachella of the future.” Responses will be used to help inform future city initiatives and development efforts.
Opportunity Coachella is part of an ongoing effort to bring in businesses into underdeveloped or economically-distressed areas classified as “Opportunity Zones” within the city. Established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as a bipartisan effort, Opportunity Zones are a new tool for community development which provides tax incentives for investment in designated low income census tracts.
Partners on this Opportunity Coachella will provide additional technical assistance support for entrepreneurs and business owners.
The competition closes on July 6th, 2021 at 9 a.m. PST. Semifinalists will be selected by a panel of seven judges and announced the same week, and the selected winners are expected to be announced on July 15th via a live virtual event.
The “City of Eternal Sunshine – Gateway to the Salton Sea” is largely a young, vibrant and family oriented area. With a population of over 45k residents with a median age of 30.8, the city has boasted a strong growth rate of 1.2% over the past 8 years. The city is known for its close proximity to major annual festivals, PGA rated golf courses, casinos, and a regional airport. Given the growing population, the City has undertaken a number of initiatives to increase access to affordable housing options, living wage job opportunities, and expanded infrastructure for the benefit of its residents. There are a number of other aligned incentives available for the targeted areas such as Foreign Trade Zones, HUB Zones, Recycling Market Development Zones, and more to partner with developers and businesses looking to expand within the region.
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