Santa Clara is Good for Business
Thousands of major public and private corporations are based in Santa Clara because of its business-friendly attitude and benefits. We’ve got all the building blocks for your success.
Low Utility Rates
Access to Transportation
Infrastructure for Growth
Streamlined Permit Process
Low Business Taxes
Dynamic Business Environment
The residents of Santa Clara are highly skilled and educated with 42% of adults holding a bachelor degree and 16% holding graduate or professional degrees. Slightly more than half of adult residents in Santa Clara work in management or professional positions.
Santa Clara consistently ranks among the top 10 cities in the U.S. for the number of patents issued each year and the Wall Street Journal named Santa Clara as one of the nation’s “most inventive towns.” Local universities and community colleges offer vigorous and varied professional development coursework to keep skills fresh and knowledge up-to-date.
Low utility rates
Silicon Valley Power, the City’s electric utility, provides reliable electricity at rates 25-40% below neighboring communities. That means that commercial customers can save up to $1 per square foot on a significant operating expense. Businesses don’t just save money on electricity in Santa Clara – the combined rates of all utilities (energy, water and sewer) are the lowest among the 105 jurisdictions in all nine Bay Area counties.
Santa Clara has one of the lowest crime rates in America for a city its size, the highest fire rating in Santa Clara County, and some of the fastest emergency response times in California. All members of the Fire Department are trained to respond to hazardous materials spills along with a City-employed chemist on call 24/7. Emergency preparedness is a high priority in Santa Clara and the City’s community programs earned Santa Clara the title “Most Prepared City in Silicon Valley” by the American Red Cross.
Access to transportation
Santa Clara has convenient access to transportation for shipments, employee commutes, vendor and customer visits. It borders Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and is crisscrossed by State Highway 101 and two regional expressways. A network of light rail and bus service is supplemented by 34.6 miles of bike lanes and bike routes. An extension of BART into the South Bay will terminate in Santa Clara. The Santa Clara Depot is a stop for both Caltrain, linking Santa Clara to San Francisco, the Peninsula and the East Bay, and the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) that transports workers every morning from Central Valley cities including Stockton, Manteca, Tracy and Livermore.
Infrastructure for growth
Because the City of Santa Clara has its own utilities, it can assure businesses that capacity in energy, water and sewer systems is in place to meet the growth needs of firms that locate here. Santa Clara has a proven commitment to keeping utilities economical and sustainable, and to providing the highest quality possible. One example is the City’s Fiber Enterprise, a 57-mile dark fiber backbone communication network that offers interactive, customer-driven design, 24/7 monitoring and scalable bandwidth. Flexible term leases and pricing add to a solution package customized to meet special needs of each business.
Almost half of the land in Santa Clara is zoned for commercial use, and there is a wide variety of properties suitable for all types of businesses and industries. Millions of square feet of new Class A office space is under construction or in the planning process that will attract additional corporate headquarters and open up more leasing opportunities in established business parks. Retail space is also undergoing significant expansion in Santa Clara, and neighborhood-serving businesses continue to be in demand. An online database quickly identifies available properties.
Streamlined permit process
A One-Stop Permit Center streamlines the permit process for businesses so that they can get up and running as a new or expanding business as quickly as possible. Online building permits, submission of design drawings and inspection schedules save time and trips to City Hall. Complex projects are assigned a single point of contact who serves as the applicant’s liaison with multiple City departments, ensuring clear and complete communication.
Low business taxes
Business license fees in the City of Santa Clara are modest. There are no utility user fees or telephone taxes, nor does Santa Clara have a city income tax.
Dynamic business environment
Santa Clara is home to the world headquarters of three of the largest corporations in America (Intel, Applied Materials, Agilent) and 12,000 other licensed businesses representing an immense variety of industries, businesses, products and services. Businesses locate in Santa Clara as start-ups, as expansions, and as relocations of already-successful enterprises. Many are pioneers in their field and give proof to the statement that this is the world center of innovation and technology. The business environment in Santa Clara is dynamic and synergistic – it is an exciting and energizing place to work and excel.
Reliable electricity can be a major concern for some businesses, such as data centers where even a power deviation of a few milliseconds can play havoc with sensitive equipment that responds to a drop in voltage. The ramifications of a power loss can be expensive and inconvenient, such as the shut down of a production line or evacuation of a building’s workforce when a safety alarm goes off. Businesses place a high value on Silicon Valley Power’s track record of reliability that consistently ranks in the top 5% of utilities in the U.S. Santa Clara’s capital investment in facilities such as the state-of-the-art Donald Von Raesfeld Power Plant and the diverse portfolio of electricity resources (with 76% coming from renewable geothermal and hydroelectric sources) ensure that reliability.
You won’t lose productivity because of weather delays in Santa Clara. Winter temps rarely drop below 40 degrees and average high during summer months is 82 degrees when afternoon breezes from San Francisco Bay serve as Mother Nature’s air conditioning. About 15 inches of rain falls each year.
People from all over the world now call Santa Clara their home, making it one of the most diverse and welcoming communities in America. More than 39% of Santa Clara residents were born outside the U.S. and over half of the population is non-Caucasian. In one elementary school alone, students speak 32 different languages. This diversity gives Santa Clarans a more global perspective and the ability to live, work and play with people of all race, ethnic and cultural backgrounds without strife.