Read the section below by Hilda Kennedy from the article ‘How the Good Life Found An Affordable Home in Southern California’.
The Small Business Investor Hilda Kennedy is the founder of AmPac Business Capital in Ontario. AmPac was established in 2005 as a non-profit organization whose goal is to positively impact the region, state, and nation in economic development.
“We are a mission-based lender trying to help smaller businesses that cannot get traditional loans from banks,” says Kennedy. “We chose San Bernardino County because we live, work, play and worship here. We like the exciting growth potential for businesses in this region, especially with affordable commercial real estate and the many growing industries. Our goal is to create more jobs in this region.”
Kennedy says that “we have great success in assisting manufacturers, service-related businesses, and other businesses that are operating warehouses in the logistics space.”
It hasn’t always been easy. Kennedy says she remembers a time not long ago when Riverside and San Bernardino counties were the hardest hit in the country due to the Great Recession of 2008 and “These businesses have recovered,” she says. “The most significant reason we are seeing increased investment today is affordability. In California, San Bernardino County is more affordable to live and work in than our neighboring counties. The vacancy rates are limited and finding space is limited, but it is still more affordable to hang a shingle in San Bernardino County. There is a more business friendly culture in the cities of this county. There is less of the NIMBY culture. There are intentional, strategic efforts to welcome businesses in these communities. For sure, that makes a difference.”
She’s also seeing the local business environment change with new entrepreneurs. “Trucking company entrepreneurs are coming out of the woodwork. They are growing and solving many of the area’s pain points. They must get product into the hands of people,” she says.
San Bernardino County welcomes such business builders because it “makes it easy to do business here. If people do not find it easy to work with people at the top, they will leave and go elsewhere. If the county starting with the Board of Supervisors keeps communicating that this is the place to do business, the other elements of the county will speak for themselves. We also have universities producing talent, so we have the people to fill those jobs.”
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