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County of Sonoma California
Economic Development Board
Economic Development Board

Sonoma County Economic Development Board

About the EDB

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) provides assistance services directed toward encouraging the startup, retention and expansion of Sonoma County businesses and jobs, particularly with small businesses; creation of new jobs and employment opportunities; and diversification of economic activity and strengthening the County’s tax base. The EDB has three major functions:

Looking for Help Starting a New Business? – check out this FREE step-by-step guide!! Ten Steps to Starting Your Business in Sonoma County

Are you starting a new business, or looking for resources to help you manage your current business? Check out the EDB’s publication – "Ten Steps: a Guide to Starting your Business in Sonoma County" for all the information you will need to get your business up and running; including permit, licensing and registration requirements, plus business plan resources, tax requirements and more! For one-on-one customized assistance, give the EDB’s Business Assistance Officer, Ethan Brown, a call at (707) 565-7589.

Growing your Business

Need help to grow or expand your business in Sonoma County? Contact our Business Assistance Team to connect you with vital county resources to jumpstart your business.

FREE Business Development Tools

The EDB recently launched a set of business tools to help local businesses to launch and grow. Whether you are in startup mode or are looking to grow your existing business, check out these FREE business development tools.

Upcoming Projects and New Developments

Creative Sonoma Arts Action Plan

Developed by the EDB, Sonoma County’s first ever strategic Arts Action Plan was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 24, 2014. The cultural arts and creative economy sector has emerged as an important area for economic growth potential in Sonoma County, and this newly coordinated strategy aims to support and boost the County’s diverse artistic and creative economy. For more information please call (707) 565-7170.

Covered California Logo

Information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Launched in October 2013, Covered California, the California health care marketplace helps individuals and small businesses compare health plans, take advantage of new tax credits, and enroll in health plans. .Established under the 2010 federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Covered California has two programs: the Individual Marketplace and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

Visitor Center Report

Sonoma County Visitor Center Report 2013

In partnership with Visitor Centers throughout the county, the EDB is pleased to present the first-of-its-kind Sonoma County Visitor Center Report. In 2013, Sonoma County‘s Visitor Centers welcomed more than 340,000 walk-in visitors and handled over 56,600 inquiries by phone, mail, or e-mail. By providing personalized information on-site, the 19 Visitor Centers‘ services complement Sonoma County Tourism‘s work and help ensure that visitors get the best experience possible. This report highlights the various activities undertaken by Sonoma County‘s in 2013.

The 2013 Visitor Center Report (PDF: 18.6 MB)

Apply Now to Participate in the EDB’s "NExT Economy" Project!

  • What if you knew today what the future held for your industry in ten years?
  • What if you could maximize opportunities and anticipate challenges based on future economic trends?
  • How would you use this knowledge to manage the success of your organization?
NExt Economy Project

The EDB would like to invite you to apply for participation in an innovative new effort designed to identify and understand how future trends will affect key economic clusters. NExT Economy will prepare business, non-profit, and public sector leaders and their organizations to adapt proactively to future changes to create a stronger local economy and job base.

We anticipate that group members of the NExT Economy Project will meet five or six times between September 1, 2014 and November 28, 2014, with about 20 total hours of time needed for the project.

Additional information can be found in the NExT Summary PDF (PDF: 644 kB) If participation in this important project interests you, please take a moment to apply by completing the application. The nomination process will end on Friday, August 1, 2014, so please be sure to submit your application before then. If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email Ethan Brown at

New Business Incentives offered by the State of California – starting in 2014

In July 2013, the Governor Jerry Brown passed "New Tools for a New Economy", a series of economic initiatives to ensure that the California economy stays competitive and fosters job growth. Highlights include:

  • A new statewide sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing, biotech and Research & Development companies
  • A new long-term unemployed tax credit for areas of high unemployment and poverty
  • A new recruitment and retention incentive, "California Competes", to attract new companies to California and expand existing companies

For more detailed information about the initiatives, visit the State of California Economic Development Initiatives Briefing Handout

Sonoma County Craft Beverage Report: June 2013

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board is pleased to present the Sonoma County Craft Beverage Report. This report offers economic insight on Sonoma County’s craft brewery, distillery, and cidery businesses and identifies opportunities for growth.

The craft beverage report features a video as part of its tourism analysis. The EDB interviewed Natalie Cilurzo, owner of Russian River Brewing Company, and tourists on the February 2013 release day of Pliny the Younger.

International Trade Guide: June 2013

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board is pleased to present the updated 2013 International Trade Guide.

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