Needles, CA: City of Needles receives California’s Economic Development Excellence Award.

Needles, CA: City of Needles receives California’s Economic Development Excellence Award.

The City of Needles was informed Monday that it has been selected as the 2019
Economic Development Award of Excellence winner for the Game-changer category by
the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

This is the highest award in this category. The Game-changer award identifies an impactful
economic development project that was transformational to the community and local
economy. The award will be presented at CALED’s annual conference in late March.

“The City Council, previous Councils, and the community has worked diligently over
many years to create new private investment economic opportunities for our residents
and businesses. We are happy that CALED recognizes that effort”, said City of Needles Mayor Jeff
Williams.

The City of Needles was invited to apply for its “City of Needles “Green” Cannabis-
Related Business Initiative. The City of Needles submitted the following information:

  • 81 land use permits Issued for new cannabis businesses
  • 790,000 Square Feet of new business space approved
  • 269 new primary jobs created in the cannabis businesses, of which 69 are Needles residents.
  • Another 135 jobs created in support businesses.
  • Population increase to 5177 in 2018, up from 5044 last year and 5035 two years
    ago
  • 2.2% unemployment rate, which is the lowest of San Bernardino County cities.
  • 47% increase in sales tax growth for the same period as last year
  • 13.5% Property Valuation Growth from 2017 to 2018. The County increased an
    average of 7.5%.
  • $5.0 M in new Electric Infrastructure constructed in last two years funded by the
    new businesses.
  • $400,000 increase in General Fund Cash balance over last year
  • 44% increase in Transient Occupancy Tax revenue from 2013-16
  • Cost of living is 41% lower than the average in California 19% lower than the
    national average.
  • 23 new homes in the building permit stage.
  • 50% reduction in Development Impact Fees.
  • New 96 room interior entrance hotel is in permit review for Needles Highway with construction set to begin in Summer 2019.

“Collectively, these statistics indicate the success of programs that the City Council has
created to stimulate new jobs, higher incomes, new housing, and other economic
opportunities. These efforts have been recognized by the New York Times, NBC News,
and local media.”, said Needles City Manager Rick Daniels.

CALED is the premier statewide professional economic development organization
dedicated to advancing its members’ ability to achieve excellence in delivering
economic development services to their communities and business clients. CALED’s
membership consists of public and private organizations and individuals involved in
economic development: the business of creating and retaining jobs.

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