Before we say goodbye--some might say good riddance--to 2017, I want to acknowledge the good that happened in Petaluma over the past 12 months.
Many existing Petaluma companies expanded their operations here last year. In addition, there were a number of companies from outside the city that set up new production facilities or satellite offices here. This growth is fueling our economic engine, creating jobs, and supporting other local businesses through the purchase of services, finished goods, or raw materials.  
Petaluma's hospitality industry continued to be strong in 2017, thanks to the efforts of the Visitor Program, the Downtown Association, and many individual businesses. New restaurants and shops popped up all around town, expanding our culinary and retail options. Our beautifully remodeled historic downtown hotel became a hub for locals and visitors alike, and construction on two new hotels made significant progress. And, the Petaluma Gap became an officially recognized grape appellation, culminating years of hard work by local vintners and winery owners.
Finally, I want to celebrate the many acts of kindness performed in Petaluma, not just in the aftermath of the October fires, but all year round. We decorated holiday trees, built homes and miracle sports fields, went bowling and played bocce ball, threw parties, and in many other ways gave from our pocketbooks and from our hearts.
All of you helped to make this happen--thank you. I look forward to working with you in 2018.

Ingrid Alverde
Economic Development Manager
Jessica Power is Petaluma's new Fire Marshal. She not only brings a wealth of experience in the fire service--she also has a degree in business administration! Learn more about Power and her goals for our community. 
Attracting visitors from the Bay Area and beyond is mission critical for the City's visitor program. That's why the program launched an updated website -- at -- with enhanced visuals and content to show potential visitors all the fun they can have here.

The website refresh was spearheaded by Marie McCusker, executive director of the Downtown Association (which manages the visitor program), and Colleen Rustad, the program's marketing manager. Marie and Colleen did a fantastic job at integrating the Petaluma Star branding while keeping the look and feel of the site upbeat and fun.   

Congrats on a job well done!

A tech company serving the arts and entertainment industries, Vendini prides itself on operating with style & flair.  No surprise, then, that when the SF-based company decided to expand its Bay Area operations, Petaluma topped its list of options. Read our profile to learn why Vendini chose a site downtown for its satellite location. 

The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses based on their ability to add jobs in California over a five-year time-frame.

The Cal Competes program offers an opportunity to reduce your business's tax liability substantially. But it is not for the faint of heart. It involves  a rigorous, competitive application process that favors companies looking to move their businesses out of the state. And, it has strict reporting and compliance requirements to ensure participating businesses actually do what they said they'd do in their application.

That said, if your business will be adding jobs within the next five years, we encourage you to learn more about the program by contacting Ethan Brown, program manager at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB). Ethan can help you understand the program's requirements and provide assistance if you decide to apply. 

The next application period runs from January 2 through January 22, 2018. So don't delay...and good luck!

Business License Renewals

The City will be mailing out its business license renewal packages in mid-December. 

This year, the package will look slightly different, thanks to a revised format.  Another change: Staff from the Fire and Building Departments will now review business license applications from new or relocating businesses to assure important safety standards are met.

Renewal must be returned by March 31st.  We recommend sending in your completed application as soon as possible.  Questions? Contact Robin Ferrari in the Finance Dept.
Open Counter

The City's Open Counter program allows anyone to map out suitable locations and identify/estimate permits and costs for starting, moving, or expanding a business in Petaluma.

The Open Counter tool is easy to use. Just log onto the , click onto either the zoning or permit research portal, and then answer the questions that appear on the screen. 

We implemented the tool to help businesses get answers 24x7. But don't worry...we're still available to assist you in person during our regular business hours!