Support for Small Business Leads Garcia's Legislative Package

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) introduced his first bills today. Topping his initial bill introduction list are two measures, AB 184 and AB 185, which enhance small business development and entrepreneurship.

"California's dominance in many economic areas is based, in part, on the significant role small businesses play in the state's $2.2 trillion economy," said Garcia, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE). "Small businesses create jobs, generate taxes, and revitalize our communities."

  • AB 184 (E. Garcia) establishes the Small Business Technical Assistance Center within the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank. For the first time in over a decade, California will have a permeant link to key federal small business assistance centers including those that focus on services to women, veterans, and prospective government contractors, as well as all service offices of the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).
  • AB 185 (E. Garcia and Medina) establishes the California New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program, which authorizes up to $200 million in tax credits through the redirection of an underutilized existing state incentive. Moneys raised through the credit must be deployed through assistance to small businesses located in very low-income census tracts. This measure is jointly authored by Assemblymembers Garcia (D-Coachella) and Jose Medina (D-Riverside).

Small businesses comprise the largest portion of California businesses, with businesses having less than 100 employees representing 97% of all firms and employing more than one-third of all workers.

“Assemblyman Garcia has the foresight to see the strong economic impact small businesses have on California’s Economy. Through AB 184 the State can leverage Federal Funds in programs such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) which have a proven track record in assisting entrepreneurs create jobs, access capital and create new companies. Small businesses lead the state in creating jobs, leading innovation and directly benefiting their local economy,“ said Ezekiel Bonillas, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.
Since the inception of NMTC Program at the federal level, individual community development entities all over the country have successfully applied for and received billions in federal tax credits which have been invested locally to stimulate economic development.

“Our goal is to ensure that local communities like Imperial County and Colusa County, where unemployment rates surpass 20 percent, have the necessary economic development tools to create local jobs.” Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia commented, who represents the counties of Riverside and Imperial.

Over the last several years, 14 other states have established parallel NMTC Programs as a way to attract federal tax credits to finance business expansion/retention and job creation. California has limited economic and community development tools with which to support private sector job creation, especially in low-income areas.

AB 184, the small business technical assistance bill, and AB 185, the California NMTC bill will enhance local business service centers and provide a significant new incentive for additional private investment in the state's most economically disadvantaged communities to fuel job growth.

Following today's introduction, the bills will await policy committee assignment by the Assembly Committee on Rules. First policy committee hearings are expected in April 2015.

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy.  He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.