A Community of Trailblazers & Artisans


Patents in Santa Cruz County


Arts & Culture Economic Impact


Businesses in Santa Cruz

Culture and environment have strongly influenced the development of industry in Santa Cruz. From the creation of the first wetsuit to the founding of numerous tech companies, our community remains at the forefront of innovation and creativity.

The ecological wonders of the Monterey Bay and redwood rain forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains provide fertile ground for the development of our leading extreme sports, tourism, and marine sciences industries. Creative professionals naturally gravitate to the area, fostering an economy centered around artistic expression, artisanal foods, and hand-crafted goods.

A constant talent pool flows down from the University of California, Santa Cruz, known as “The City on the Hill”. Networks connected to the University provide our diverse spectrum of industries and businesses with the resources to grow and thrive.

Santa Cruz has created a market that’s distinctly different from those in the nearby Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay area. The natural features and small-town appeal encourage a boutique market for entrepreneurs and business owners who seek a lifestyle that really has it all; and a community eager to support local businesses.


The tech ecosystem in Santa Cruz is thriving. It attracts talent from across the country who immerse themselves in our network of coworking spaces, meetups, and burgeoning companies.


Each year over 1 million tourists visit Santa Cruz to take in the beaches, visit our world famous boardwalk, explore the mountains, and kick back at the numerous breweries and restaurants unique to our Central Coast city.


With miles of mountain trails, world famous surf spots, and an average of 262 days of sunshine a year, the opportunities are endless for extreme sports and outdoor recreation.


Craft is culture in Santa Cruz. You don't have to go far to find a local bakery, charcuterie, brewery, distillery, winery, ice creamery, and meet other fine food producers and connoisseurs who are all dedicated to locally sourced, high-quality products.


Set on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the incredible mix of marine species that live here provide the optimal location for research on marine life, coastal conservation, and other marine science endeavors.


Santa Cruz is at the center of the organic agriculture certification movement and this industry is supported by major institutions.


The human genome was first mapped at UCSC, and the University remains a leader in the genomics field. The discoveries and research conducted at UCSC have resulted in the creation of several private genomics based companies.


Feeding off of the culture of the community and the talent drawn from renowned UCSC programs, the growing creative economy in Santa Cruz provides opportunities for freelancers, firms, artists, and craftspeople to prosper.


The presence of creative and artisanal goods has promoted a range of retail offerings from boutique outfitters to world-renowned international brands.

Resources Index

Resources Index

Let’s make your business a reality in Santa Cruz with these four basic steps for starting any business.

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Passion for creativity and a do-it-my-way attitude permeate the community and make for an engaged, supportive business environment.

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