San Gabriel Valley has plenty to offer

This story appears in the 5/23/12 edition of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Pasadena Star News.

San Gabriel Valley has plenty to offer

By Cynthia Kurtz

“Location, location, location.” That’s what businesses say is the most valuable advantage of being located in the San Gabriel Valley.

You probably don’t immediately think of the SGV as the center of Southern California … until you look at a map.

Then it becomes obvious. You can reach Orange County, the Inland Empire and downtown Los Angeles from just about anywhere in the SGV in 30 minutes. No other region has such a strategic location.

The San Gabriel Economic Partnership’s marketing and regional promotion committee – under the able direction of Blaine Fetter, a principal at Samuelson & Fetter LLC, and Helen Romero Shaw, public affairs manager at Southern California Gas Co. – has been hard at work for 18 months developing a regional marketing plan.

We all have our own reasons for living and working here, but the committee decided that this campaign should be based on the reasons current SGV businesses like the region.

A series of interviews followed by an extensive survey of 237 business representatives revealed that 76 percent of businesses said being a central location is the key advantage of the SGV. They also liked the access to airports and ports, great colleges and universities, a skilled work force, diverse housing choices, lower lease rates, business friendly cities, and having room to expand.

A very impressive list.

No need to drive through heavy traffic, fight for a parking space, and spend hours

in security lines when the Bob Hope and Ontario airports make both freight and passenger air transport easy and convenient.

We have top notch four-year schools. Caltech was named the greatest university in the world for 2011-2012 by the New Times Educational Global ranking. The Valley is also home to the Claremont Colleges, University of La Verne, CalPoly Pomona and Azusa Pacific University, as well as four prominent community colleges – Mt. SAC, Pasadena, Citrus and Rio Hondo. Collectively, they provide a skilled, diverse candidate pool for internships and hiring.

Need to import or export? No problem. The Alameda Corridor will carry those goods to and from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. And with the Alameda Corridor East project well on its way, SGV traffic is able to safely move around the rail lines.

We have ample proof that SGV cities know how to do business with business. In 2010, the City of Alhambra received the prestigious “Most Business Friendly” award for cities with a population of over 60,000 from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. Last year the same award went to West Covina, and Monrovia took home the Most Business Friendly award for cities smaller than 60,000.

Duarte was also recognized for its business friendly spirit.

In order to attract the best employees, businesses need to offer more than a job. The San Gabriel Valley provides a variety of housing choices for top CEOs and affordable middle-class neighborhoods for their employees.

If you know a business that wants to relocate, expand or consolidate its facilities, tell them to contact the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. We’d love to help them find the right location in the SGV.

Yes, it is all about location, location and location.

Cynthia Kurtz is president and CEO of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. She can be reached at

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