GO-Biz Response to JEDE Information Requests

In preparation for the oversight hearing, the JEDE Chair submitted a series of questions and data requests to GO-Biz.  Below is a the agency's response to the first question regarding the roles and responsibilities of GO-Biz.

GO-Biz' full response is available here.  

General Overview

JEDE Question/Request:  Looking back over the past several years, what have been the primary roles The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has played within the state's economic development network?

General Background:

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) was created by Governor Brown to serve as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection and incentive identification, permit assistance and clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development and foreign direct investment, assistance with state government, and more.

In October of 2011, Governor Brown singed AB 29 (Perez, Chapter 475, Statutes of 2011), codifying the office in statute and renaming it to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. This bill became effective January 1, 2012. Budget authority for the initial GO-Biz positions came in the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year Budget, which took effect July 1, 2012. The first round of Deputy Director and leadership appointments took place in September 2012, with another round following in January 2013.

The Governor’s Reorganization Plan 2, implemented in August 2012, moved the State Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, Film Commission, and Tourism Commission, under the purview of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. GO-Biz, in addition to the programs and services it offers, also serves as the administrative control agency for these organizations.

Also in 2012, Governor Brown singed AB 2012 (Perez, Chapter 294, Statutes of 2012), which created the International Trade and Investment Program within GO-Biz. The bill made GO-Biz the lead state agency for international trade and investment activities. This includes creating international trade and investment offices outside of the United States, and accepting private donations for those purposes. In October 2012, GO-Biz signed a partnership agreement with the Bay Area Council, a San Francisco-headquartered nonprofit business organization, to operate a California Trade and Investment office in Shanghai and organize trade and investment missions to China. Governor Brown announced during his State of the State address in January 2013 that he would head the first such mission to open the office in April 2013.

In 2013, Governor Brown also initiated the Governor’s Economic Development Initiative, which ended the old Enterprise Zone program and replaced it with three new economic development tools; a partial sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing and research and development equipment purchases, a targeted new employment credit, and the California Competes Tax Credit. The California Competes Tax Credit became a program within GO-Biz (SB 90, Galgiani, Chapter 70, Statutes of 2013, and AB 93, Committee on Budget, Chapter 69, Statutes of 2013). Governor Brown also signed legislation that created the “Made in California” labeling program, and placed that program within GO-Biz (SB 12, Corbett, Chapter 541, Statutes of 2013) as well as codified the Innovation Hub Program (AB 250, Chapter 530, Statutes of 2013). GO-Biz also opened the State’s first International Trade Office in Shanghai, China in April 2013.

In 2014, Governor Brown worked signed legislation to adopt a new Film and Television Tax Credit Program (AB 1839, Gatto, Chapter 413, Statutes of 2014). He also signed legislation that increased the amount of funding available for Visit California’s tourism marketing efforts on behalf of the state (SB 1119, Leno, Chapter 320, Statutes of 2014). Additionally, through a partnership with OPR and CEC, the legislature approved budget action that created the state Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Project manager position within GO-Biz to focus on ZEV fueling station development across the state. GO-Biz also piloted, for the first time, the Capital Infusion Grant Program, a competitive grant program for small business development centers funded by a one-time $2 million appropriation for fiscal year 2014-2015. GO-Biz also launched the Lean 6 Sigma Training Program for state departments, with 14 projects from 12 departments.

In 2015, GO-Biz launched the California Business Portal, a one stop tool for businesses needing tools or resources (www.businessportal.ca.gov).  IBank launched its California Lending for Environmental and Economic Needs (CLEEN) program, to focus on providing lending services to municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals for environmental and energy efficiency projects. Growing on the success of the first round, GO-Biz also continued the Capital Infusion Grant Program for fiscal year 2015-2016 with a second $2 million general fund appropriation. Also for its second year, GO-Biz operated the Lean 6 Sigma Training Program, with 24 projects from 16 departments across state government.

Understanding the Layers of Economic Development Partners:

Economic development in California involves multiple partners.  Economic Development is truly a locally driven activity, which is why nearly every city and county has designated economic development staff. Recognizing the importance and value of regional economies and regional collaboration, nearly every local jurisdiction in the state is a member of a regional economic development organization. These organizations provide economic development services, particularly business attraction, expansion, and retention. Local Chambers of Commerce, Workforce Investment Boards, and the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) also provide services at the local and regional level. At the State level, the California Association of Local Economic Development serves as the practitioner association for economic developers, and Team California serves as a statewide marketing arm for California communities and regions providing access to key national and international trade shows and events.

Primary Roles of GO-Biz:

GO-Biz’s role is to serve as the state point of contact for economic development activity. We serve as a

convener for all of these organizations, as well as the go-to entity for challenges or opportunities that any of the aforementioned entities may have. We coordinate activity at the state level between both local and state activities. We promote and educate our partners and businesses on the many services and opportunities that exist in California. We serve as a point of access for businesses and other economic development organizations to learn about state programs and resolve permitting and regulatory issues. We work to leverage local, state, and federal resources to have a maximum impact on economic development.

GO-Biz has played a role in the attraction of several large scale business expansion projects to the state. We’ve also focused resources specifically on protecting several of California’s key industries, including film, aerospace, manufacturing, travel and tourism, agriculture and food processing, information technology, and many more. We’ve also looked closely at where there are gaps in economic development programs or services and have worked hard to address them. Specifically, this administration repealed the old enterprise program and replaced it with three new incentives (a targeted hiring credit, manufacturing partial sales and use tax exemption, and the California Competes Tax Credit). We’ve worked with the Legislature to provide additional funding for the SBDC’s to provide capital readiness and training as we have learned about the challenges to access to capital that small businesses have.  We’ve opened the first California trade office since the demise of the California Trade and Commerce Agency in 2003 and expanded our relationships with international trade partners to both improve California exports and increase foreign direct investment into California. We’ve worked with countless local, state, and federal entities to remove barriers businesses have encountered, relaunched  CalGOLD, the online permit assistance center, and launched the brand new California Business Portal to provide businesses easy access to the information, tools, and resources they need.

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