Economic Development

Programs available through the City of Calexico Redevelopment & Economic Development Department for businesses locating or expanding to Calexico are the Enterprise Zone, Foreign Trade Zone, and Manufacturing Enhancement Zone. The HUB Zone program provides government contracting opportunities for local vendors. Financial Assistance programs are also available such as a Revolving Loan, Storefront Rebate, Sign Rebate, First Time Homebuyer Program, Tenant Based Rental Assistance and Rehabilitation loans. For additional information, contact the Calexico Redevelopment Agency at 760.768.2177.

Enterprise Zone/Foreign Trade Zone Manufacturing Enhancement; Area Zone/HUB Zone

The City of Calexico and County of Imperial partnered to form the Calexico County Enterprise Zone Joint Powers Authority (CCEZ) under the newly approved State of California Enterprise Zone program. The CCEZ is effective for the 15 year period and ends in the year 2021.

The CCEZ offers local financial incentives to existing, new, and expanding businesses within the boundaries of the CCEZ. The City of Calexico through the Redevelopment and Economic Development Department offers rebates of up to 50 percent of costs on city building, plumbing, and electrical permit fees as well as a 50 percent rebate for the business license and labor fees for water and sewer hook up fees. For the fiscal year 2008-09 rebates totaled $15,000 for reimbursement of building, electrical and plumbing permits, rebate of business license and refuse fees, waiver of labor fees for water and sewer hook- ups.

For the calendar year 2009 the Calexico County Enterprise Zone has certified 430+ vouchers for EZ businesses to take advantage of the State Tax hiring credits through the State of California. The City of Calexico is also a designated Manufacturing Enhancement Area Zone (MEA) which offers similar tax benefits by the State of California as the Enterprise Zone. The MEA is available until the year 2012.

The cities of EI Centro, Brawley, Calipatria, Calexico and imperial County formed a joint powers authority (JPA) for the administration of the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) program approved in 2003. The FTZ allows products to be imported/exported to an approved FTZ site "duty free". Once the product is assembled, the duty/tax is paid on the product. The Calexico FTZ has approximately 483 acres designated which include the Calexico Airport and the industrial parks within the city. With assistance of an administrator, the zone was activated in February 2008. Workshops to educate the business about the program are held throughout the year. All activations are approved the JPA and Homeland Security. The most recent activation in the City of Calexico was in 2008 by the Coppel Corporation.


The Business Improvement District with the assistance of the Calexico Redevelopment Agency has been successful in the strategic implementation of a marketing campaign to attract shoppers to the area. Beginning in November of 2008 the BID Committee has hosted events showcasing the types of products and services available in the central business district zone. Mass media advertising has included radio, print, and television advertising that has provided an increase in awareness of the downtown districts goods and services. The Calexico Redevelopment Agency Board has committed to support the BID Committee with funding for the fiscal year 2009-10 to continue the marketing campaign.

Funding to the Calexico Chamber of Commerce for a business expansion and retention program of local businesses provides the City of Calexico additional resources to address the city's sales tax generating activities. Construction of new commercial buildings and expansions of existing commercial properties for the FY 2008-09 building permit valuation of $6.5 million including two new commercial construction projects and improvements to 97 existing commercial properties. Sales tax generated for the City of Calexico in the fiscal year 2008-09 was $5.4 million with a decrease estimated to be about 26 percent for the fiscal year 2009-10 due to the current economic environment of the State of California.

Storefront façade improvement program offered by the Calexico Redevelopment Agency provided assistance to 2 commercial/retail businesses by providing a 50 percent rebate on the cost of the improvements. Funding of $40,000 to each business for a total of $80,000 financial assistance was provided by the Agency in the fiscal year 2008-09. A third storefront is currently under construction estimated to receive up to a $40,000 rebate in the fiscal year 2009-10.

The Calexico Finance Department recorded 471 business licenses issued for the fiscal year 2008-09. New businesses included furniture, construction companies, clothing, and child care; distribution/logistics, restaurants, and a fitness center.

Community Development

Projects in the pipeline for 2009-10 is the continuance of downtown landscaping improvements, graffiti cleanup, and improvements to city owned parking lots. Construction of infrastructure such as new construction and replacement of water lines, sewer lines, streets, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks to three (3) industrial areas located West of Hwy 111 on Cole Road. Funding has been made available through the U. S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. $3 million in funding will be used towards improvements that will generate employment opportunities in the project areas referred to as Kloke, Portico and Town Center Industrial Parks.

Tax increment collected through RDA Project areas provides financing to continue the availability of offering programs and participating in projects that sustain the city's economic development and redevelopment efforts. In past years, Agency funding has provided funding for improvements or programs:

  • Carnegie Library restoration
  • Cultural Arts Center
  • Cortez Park
  • Gutierrez Park
  • Border Park
  • Fe Park improvements (Las Casitas)
  • Police Department renovation
  • Library Air Conditioners replacement
  • Heber Park Restrooms
  • Skate Park at Nosotros Park
  • Old City Hall renovation currently occupied by the Consulado de Mexico
  • Child Care Center
  • Fire Substation improvements
  • Frontage Road Barrier Wall
  • Crummet Park restrooms
  • Community Center Restrooms renovation/ADA retrofit
  • Purchase of Armory Building and provided fencing.

Projects and programs planned for the fiscal 2009-10 include:

• Fire Station renovation • City Hall entry doors retrofit • Second Street road realignment • Gun Club environmental cleanup • Residential sidewalk & landscaping along frontage road • Mini street sweeper purchase for downtown cleaning • Storefront improvement program financial rebates • Sign rebate financing • Enterprise Zone financial incentives

Calexico designated a small city under the State of California Housing and Community Development Department, is eligible to apply and receive funding for housing rehabilitation, public improvements and services, and economic development programs. Funding from the State Community Development Block Grant is used to provide safe and decent affordable housing, meeting an urgent need, and/or benefiting low income families.

Projects such as the rehabilitation and conversion of former Hotel De Anza's Alicia's Supper Room and Restaurant houses the City's Cultural Arts . Activities are provided to further the cultural education and growth of families. Activities being offered are unique and provide education and entertainment to everyone. commercial and industrial development.

Funding of $320,000 for a barrier wall was completed along the east side of Hwy 111 and the frontage road. This will reduce noise from the vehicles and beautify the area by eliminating a blighted fence structure. Landscaping will be completed in this fiscal year.

Housing Programs

The First Time Homebuyers Program made available with funding provided with State of California HOME funding has assisted 540 households since 1995 with down payment assistance to purchase their first home. Applicants must below income and the cost of the house must not exceed $247,000. The City of Calexico is assisting first time home buyers with a maximum of up to $25,000 for the fiscal year 2009-10.

Housing rehabilitation programs are available to low income households needing improvements that will eliminate health and safety hazards and eliminate blight. The program is made available through the State of California Housing and Community Development Department and is on New construction of residential units totaled nine properties valued at $1.9 million and approximately 190 residential units undergoing expansions or rehabilitation valued at $2.3 million.

Housing rehabilitation programs are available to low income households needing improvements that will eliminate health and safety hazards and eliminate blight. The program is made available through the State of California Housing and Community Development Department and is on-going program offered by the Calexico Redevelopment Agency.


International collaboration between the City of Calexico and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico has been a key element to the joint partnership between the two border communities.

Business networks, relationships, and enhanced cultural similarities have been strengthened. Integration of joint meetings of government entities on both sides of the border and memberships in organizations such as the Comision De Desarrollo Industrial de Mexicali (CDI) and Asociacion de Maquiladora de Mexicali, A.C.(AMMAC), have reinforced valuable state and federal contacts to further the economic development as a region.

The recent collaboration of the City of Calexico, Redevelopment Agency, San Diego State University, and the Centro de Estudios Economicos del Sector Empresarial (CEESEM) will provide demographic data to the community for targeting of commercial and industrial development opportunities. CityOfCalexicoFastFacts Year2008-2009SummaryInformation