Open Counter

"Planning" with image of plans being reviewed

Open Counter Seaside Now Available

The City of Seaside is proud to announce the launch of Open Counter:Seaside. A web based tool, Open Counter allows entrepreneurs to concentrate on their primary purpose: starting a business and creating jobs. It helps entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Seaside to identify a location, understand the required approval process, and estimate the fees associated with setting up shop. The site is live and is in both English and Spanish.

“Small businesses in Seaside are a core component of our local economy”, says Mayor Ralph Rubio. “A high priority of the City’s Economic Opportunity Plan is to assist and support small business in Seaside. Small businesses over the years have provided jobs, paid taxes, and contributed to local charitable and community efforts. One of the City Council’s objectives is to grow our local businesses and increase their prosperity, which will contribute to the city’s revenue base.”

These employers are a key element to creating strong communities, but often their first interface with local government relies upon pen, paper and in person visits to City offices, which can be challenging to navigate. Available 24/7, Open Counter provides an easy online experience - and cost advantage - to City Hall. Open Counter asks the right questions, in the right order, so business owners see the requirements, fees, and processing time that will apply to their planned use and location.

Open Counter also collects metrics on new business development activities to formulate the City’s economic development strategies, including which neighborhoods or districts have the most commercial activity and what kinds of businesses are being established and the number of jobs being created. “This information will help guide the development of new economic development policies and programs,” says City Manager, John Dunn.

About Open Counter

Open Counter was built through a partnership between the City of Santa Cruz, CA and Code for America in 2012. Its growth has been supported by the John S and James L. Knight Foundation and the Code for America Accelerator. More information about the company can be found online or on twitter.