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Whittier on the Move: July 23, 2020

There’s still much uncertainty with the pandemic and this unknown can be scary. But I want you to know that, despite the pandemic and in reaction to it, there’s lots of positive things going on here in Whittier.

As we navigate this unique time together as a nation, locally your Whittier Coronavirus Crisis Team has been hard at work drafting and implementing our very own Whittier Recovery Plan. The Plan provides an outline that recognizes key action items, City objectives, and solutions for recovery during the pandemic. An important part of the Recovery Plan is the focus on helping Whittier businesses in a time of great uncertainty, know that the City will provide some certainty in helping Whittier businesses to recover.

One such way is to assist Whittier businesses through a “Buy Local” program. This is a rebate incentive for Whittierites who are interested in upgrading, rehabbing, or just cleaning up their homes and businesses. The program is still being worked through but a rebate of 25% of the cost of your building permit will be provided by purchasing at least 50% of your project from local Whittier businesses, such as lumber, construction materials, etc. which also includes the use of a Whittier contractor, architect or subcontractor, etc. So, if you are thinking about making some home upgrades don’t put it off any longer, now is a great time to do it!

Have you heard of the “Buy Whittier” policy? This policy (adopted by City Council in 2007) was created as an effort to support the Whittier local business economy, promote good relations with the business community and increase the City’s revenue from local sales tax by adopting a local preference when the City of Whittier is purchasing goods and services for City work.

Simply, your City looks to hire Whittier businesses for good and services if the local business can come within 2% of the lowest price or bid for that governmental contract. But most importantly, for the next 12 months, the policy has increased the percentage to 10% of the lowest price/bid. The City has tremendous purchasing power and we want to use it to the extent we can right here for our local businesses.

Also happening for the next 12-month period is a 30% reduction in the City business license fee. All people doing business here are required to have that license. Let the City subsidize you by giving you a 30% discount!

And additionally, The Whittier Uptown Association and the Whittier Chamber of Commerce will both be working with the City to provide grants to local businesses in the coming months. The City Council just adopted a grant program to encourage businesses along the Greenleaf Promenade.

But more information on that next week…

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