On January 15th, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) approved a $165,000 tax credit for Underground Elephant. The purpose of the aptly named Cal Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) is to support California-based companies committed to local job creation and investment, while also serving as a mechanism to retain companies at risk of leaving for other states. Of the 56 businesses in California that were awarded the tax credit last month, eight of them were located in San Diego County.
Fast-paced financial growth, continued high-tech hiring, and a multi-million-dollar investment in a new office in Downtown San Diego’s East Village are among the many reasons GO-Biz selected Underground Elephant. Additionally, as covered by the Voice of San Diego in April 2014, Underground Elephant was exploring relocation options—either to another city, potentially even to another state. This idea matured as the year went on, significantly increasing the risk of us moving a majority of our operations to Colorado.
Were it not for the outreach of GO-Biz, our team may have never applied for the CCTC at all, likely opting instead to further planning with Colorado. We would like to send a special thanks to Sid Voorakkara, San Diego’s GO-Biz Senior Business Development Specialist, not only for his exceptional professionalism and dedication, but also for proactively reaching out to our team and educating us on the CCTC application process. On the technical front, we would also like to echo our thanks for Scott Dosick, GO-Biz’s CCTC Specialist, and, lastly, the GO-Biz tech team, which ran a remarkably error-free web portal!
In late January, I spoke at a CCTC workshop with a number of other CCTC recipients from San Diego companies. During the workshop, Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) shared her optimism with the room, “It’s great to see so many San Diego area businesses receive tax credits through California Competes. These tax incentives will create good-paying jobs in our region and ensure that we maintain a competitive edge on the global stage. With twice as many awardees as last year, it’s evident that the San Diego region is the right spot for businesses to start, expand, and succeed.”
A Supportive Community
Upon receiving news of the CCTC award, Underground Elephant CEO, Jason Kulpa remarked, “In light of this clear signal from GO-Biz, I am confident that the State of California is committed to sustaining economic policies conducive to innovation and growth. As a company founded in San Diego, Underground Elephant is honored to be in a position to create more high-paying jobs, expand into a new office, and continue to deepen our commitment to the community we call home.”
On that note, we send our sincere thanks to the San Diego community for its support during the application process. In particular, we would like to thank Congressman Scott Peters and Field Representative Shea Benton; Kris Michell and Danny Reeves at the Downtown San Diego Partnership; Mayor Faulconer and David Graham, Deputy Chief Operating Officer; Jerry Sanders and Sherman Stocker at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; Jesse Gipe at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation; and, last, but certainly not least, Christine Reed at Make-a-Wish San Diego.