The City of Eureka is a designated California Enterprise Zone, which offers credits dealing with hiring, equipment, sales, and personal tax. The North Coast Small Business Resource Center is available to assist with business plan development and targeted business counseling in both Del Norte and Humboldt counties. The Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) offers a wide range of loans and assistance within Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The Redwood Regional Economic Development Corporation (Humboldt) offers revolving loans. The Del Norte Economic Development Corporation (Del Norte) also offers loans. The cities of Arcata, Fortuna, and Eureka offer similar loans, limited to projects within their respective city limits. Small Business Administration loans are also available through local banks and AEDC. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (Humboldt) and Redwood Coast Energy Authority (Humboldt) offer incentives to commercial businesses for energy efficiency upgrades or energy efficiency incentives for new equipment or new construction.
There are a number of incentives available to hire the unemployed or the underemployed in targeted populations. Forest products and the fishing/aquaculture industry, although reduced in size, still play a part in the local industrial base in both counties. Several large dairies (both organic and conventional) are also quite successful, with their products exported throughout the western US. Tourism plays a seasonal but significant part of the local economy in both counties, with numerous state and national parks located in the area.
Humboldt County is known for niche market manufacturers and a creative community of entrepreneurs. There is a California State University campus –Humboldt State University, located in Arcata, making it a year-round employer’s market. Skilled labor in light manufacturing and modest fees for labor training are available through the local community college, College of the Redwoods, located in Eureka, and other local agencies.
Del Norte also has a branch campus of College of the Redwoods, located in Crescent City. The main industries are associated with forest products, fishing, health care, tourism, and Pelican Bay State Prison located north of Crescent City. Del Norte County is also the home to Redwood National and State Parks, and the Smith River National Recreation Area which includes most of the Smith River, the largest undammed watershed in the lower 48 states. More than 75 percent of Del Norte County is public lands, providing unparalleled opportunities for nature-based recreation.