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Covina Progress and Prosperity

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Covina prides itself on providing a strong, pro-business atmosphere and making it as easy as possible for firms to relocate, expand or get off the ground.

The business community is well-served by a thriving Chamber of Commerce, which celebrated its centennial in 2000, and is staffed with many hard-working, caring individuals committed to making Covina a better place to live.

The Economic Development Council, founded in 1995 under the Chamber umbrella, functions as a separate entity, with its own funding and authority. EDC members represent a wide cross-section of the business community. A task force is available to meet with business owners to discuss specific needs.

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The EDC works closely with the Covina Redevelopment Agency, which offers financial incentives like loans, bonds, land write-downs and assessment district financing. Known for its professionalism and commitment to quality projects, the CRA was instrumental in the development of Covina Village, Covina Town Square, Covina Technology Center, Arrow Grand Business Park, the Terrado Plaza and Village Oaks office parks and the Azusa Arrow Commercial Center. The CRA was also deeply involved in Covina’s successful downtown revitalization efforts, and is also involved in revitalization efforts in areas throughout the city.

Since its inception in 1971, the CRA has invested more than $28 million in the community. That investment has paid off handsomely, resulting in more than $430 million in new development and thousands of new jobs.

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At the city level, the Planning Division acts as a liaison with other departments to smooth the way for development. Its pioneering “one-stop permit” process helps put project approvals on the administrative fast track.

The combined efforts of all these agencies contribute to Covina’s strong business atmosphere. From the largest corporation to the smallest family-owned firm, members of Covina’s business community know they have friends they can count on.

Welcome to the Covina Business Community
Recognizing that no two businesses are exactly alike and that the regulatory process can sometimes be complicated, the City of Covina presents this information to familiarize you, as a business owner, with some of the general requirements related to opening, relocating or altering a business within the City of Covina.

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We would encourage you to meet with city staff before you open for business in order to identify applicable requirements and avoid costly and time-consuming problems later on. You will find the city’s Community Development Department staff to be a valuable “one-stop” resource for information and assistance throughout the regulatory process. The Development Services Team, consisting of Building, Planning, Engineering, Environmental Services and Code Compliance personnel is committed to promoting a seamless permit approval process. Every effort will be made to help applicants gather the information that they need, to answer questions and resolve problems. The team is also working toward creating a comprehensive permitting service system by providing handouts with information on topics such as construction and entitlement permitting needs, business licensing, as well as assisting with outside agency contacts such as the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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You are also encouraged to contact the Covina Chamber of Commerce for information and guidance on local economic conditions and business practices.

Before You Open Your Business……
BE SURE to check with the City of Covina Community Development Department (626-858-7236) if you intend to……

• Open a new business or move an existing business to a new location.
• Increase the seating or floor space area, the hours of operation or alter an existing business in any other way.
• Make any exterior or interior alterations, or other modifications to an existing building (including partition walls over five feet in height, plumbing, heating system, electrical system, mechanical system, etc.).
• Display any new signs or modify any existing signs.
• Store, produce or use combustibles, toxic substances, corrosives, explosives, or pressurized gases in the conduct of your business.
• Store, prepare or serve food products during the conduct of your business.
• Conduct your business from or within a residence.

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Obtaining a Business License……
In order to ensure that you have all the information that you will need to establish your new business in our community, there are some important things that you will need to know.

1. Before you do anything, please talk to the city Planning and Business Licensing staff. The first necessary step in ensuring that all city requirements are being addressed is to check whether or not your business use is permitted at a given location within the city. The land use zoning district in which you wish to locate regulates permissible uses and in some cases the use may not be permitted at all. If you were locating in the wrong zone, you would need to explore a different location in the city, which would permit your proposed business. Problems often arise when property is leased or construction initiated without checking with city staff first.

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2. Be honest and clear about your proposal, so that city staff may be able to help you achieve your objectives. We will do our best to ensure that you have all the necessary information to legally establish your business including different options that may be available to you in obtaining approvals.

3. Complete a business license application and submit it to the the the Information/Cashier counter desk in the Planning Department Community Development wing of City Hall. Photo identification for the business owner(s) is required with the application. Staff will determine if an inspection is required. In the event that physical improvements will be made to the building, please approach the Building Department.

4. The public information staff will tabulate fees. Upon receiving final building and planning approval, it will be four to six weeks before your license is sent to you.

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5. In conclusion, please keep in mind that Planning and Building approval is needed before your business license application can be fully processed. In addition, depending on the nature of the business, certain types of business licenses require approval by the police department. We want to help you in every way we can to prevent surprises, and possibly unpleasant or expensive ones at that!

If you have any questions concerning establishing your business, please feel free to call.
Business License: - (626) 858-7240
Planning Division: - (626) 858-7231

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