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By Greg Garrett
Tehachapi City Manager 

Tehachapi's business outlook – positive

From the City Manager


Recently the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance, in which Tehachapi is a proud member/investor, held their 2018 Economic Outlook Conference. Adam Fowler, the Director of Research and an economist for Beacon Economics out of Los Angeles, gave the keynote address.

As many others have recently, he addressed "fake news" when it comes to the economy. There is no such thing as "Republican" or "Democratic" economic news, it's all one market supported by real data. For example, unlike the narrative you read online or the commentaries from various talking heads that businesses are fleeing California, actual research proves that's simply not true. As a matter of fact, California's economy is a major part of the Nation's economic growth.

The gross domestic product, or final value of market goods coming out of California has grown 4%, unemployment statewide has dropped to 4.4%, which is considered "fully-employed" for all intents and purposes. If you want a job, you have a job. California is also leading the Nation in terms of contributions, 16% of the economic growth in the United States is attributed to California. Not bad for a business climate that pundits claim is "falling apart".

As a result of the strong numbers nationally and statewide, Kern County continues to outperform our neighbors. There has been a 2.2% increase in job growth in Kern, while local spending has increased by over $14 million in Kern County. Taxable sales in Tehachapi have grown over 2% from this time last year.

There is more than just taxable spending, as well. As Mr. Fowler pointed out, people are saving less right now, which is actually a good economic indicator. Instead of hoarding money and building a security blanket, people are spending. Businesses locally are spending, as well. City Hall has been inundated with meetings and requests over the last several months regarding new projects. All total, these projects are worth millions on the surface and would improve the local economic base.

Established businesses are also joining in and spending more by expanding locally. DC's RV Center, a notable name in Bakersfield recently opened a location in Tehachapi. Given our strong RV community, this move makes sense, and hopefully for Mr. Collins, dollars, as well. Dignified Home Loans, already established on Tehachapi Blvd., recently opened a second location on Valley Blvd. next to T-Mobile and Chicago Title to address an increased demand in the mortgage industry.

We've seen Race Communications, well known for their initiatives to bring high speed internet to the rural areas of Tehachapi, open a headquarters and distribution warehouse within the City. The demand for their services in Kern, Inyo, Mono, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties has prompted them to choose Tehachapi for the base operations in those areas.

Numerous reinvestment opportunities continue to evolve. Hiring is picking up as well in our established businesses. Sierra Technical Services is recruiting top aerospace talent to work here in Tehachapi, while World Wind and Solar continues to expand and hire a renewable energy workforce to service the area's resources.

Hard data and facts support a strong economic outlook locally and even statewide for the foreseeable future. While the narrative might say otherwise, the numbers don't lie, the businesses are growing and opportunities continue to be presented locally that strengthen Tehachapi's market.


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