Let the Business Roadmap Be Your Guide

May 3, 2016

Let's say you've got an amazing business idea and you're excited and ready to make it real. You might think first about the location where you'll set up shop, or the team you'll need to hire to help you, or maybe even what your marketing strategy is. You will probably also think about the permits, licenses, and paperwork you need to fill out with a little less enthusiasm and perhaps more anxiety and precaution. 

Well, this where we want to introduce you to the Business Roadmap, a new tool to help entrepreneurs navigate the process of starting a business. 

The Business Roadmap simplifies starting a business in Santa Cruz with four straightforward steps: Plan, Permit, Launch, and Grow. To access the Business Roadmap visit

Business Road Map

The Roadmap was designed to provide the key steps to getting a business started in Santa Cruz and can be used by entrepreneurs and business owners of any size or experience level. Whether you’re a business owner that wants to put up a new sign and needs to know where to get a permit and how much it will cost or an entrepreneur working a day job and researching how to start their own business at 3:00am, the information is always available and easily accessible regardless of the time of day. 

Each step of the Business Roadmap provides an entrepreneur with the information and processes required to open their business. From building your business plan to acquiring your zoning clearance, building permits, business license, and all the paperwork and processes in between, the new tool provides an explanation of the process, forms, costs and timelines to help you know what to expect when you are ready to begin the process of registering your business. 

“The Business Roadmap is a business planning resource designed to engage existing and prospective business owners before they enter the permitting process. Our goal is to provide entrepreneurs with key information early on to help them get their business up and running as easily and efficiently as possible.” — Bonnie Lipscomb, City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Director

This new information resource joins a suite of online tools already available to businesses and is intended to serve as the first stop in your business journey. The Business Roadmap integrates with our existing online tools like OpenCounter, SizeUp Business Analytics, and our Space Available database at the step in the process where those tools are most beneficial.

A full City team from Planning and Community Development, Public Works, Finance, Water, Fire and the Police Department worked collaboratively to develop the new resource tool.  

“We are excited to partner with the Economic Development Office on the Business Roadmap to help provide easily accessible information to the business and development community. The online tool is a great way to access high level information to prepare you for your visit to the permitting counter.” — Juliana Rebagliati, City of Santa Cruz Planning and Community Development Department Director

The Business Roadmap will be a living document, and will continue to be updated as policies change or fees are adjusted. 

So, Let's Get You Started!

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