Porterville city leaders credit an Enterprise Zone for bringing this Wal-Mart Distribution Center to the city nearly two decades ago. It has since brought millions in sales tax revenue. Now, city leaders hope an expanded Enterprise Zone designation for all of Porterville's commercial and industrial areas will generate even more business.
John Lollis said, "As we all try to find strategies to decrease the unemployment rate we're facing in the area this provides us another tool in the toolbox to work with our business community"
The new designation was just recently approved by the state and provides generous tax breaks and incentives to new and even current businesses in the Enterprise Zone.
Benefits include nearly $38-thousand dollars in tax breaks for hiring an employee who previously earned a salary less than that amount, and sales tax breaks on large equipment purchases.
City leaders hope this new Enterprise Zone brings new life to downtown. Many here say Main Street needs more restaurants and retail.
Downtown building owner Chad Smith says he's had trouble leasing out his Main Street office space. He and other business owners like J.R. Flores, hope the new Enterprise Zone will fill up many of downtown Porterville's empty storefronts.
"Some nice restaurants there's a lot of retail stores I see clothing stores some come and go some make it some don't," said Flores.
The new Enterprise Zone also affects other parts of Tulare County. It will go into effect by January first.