Nov 19 2020

OCBC Honors Government Agencies Cutting Red Tape in 10th Annual “Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet” Awards

Irvine, CA – November 19, 2020  Orange County Business Council awarded its coveted “Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet” honors to select Orange County cities and local leaders whose policies and programs eliminate barriers to economic growth, foster private sector jobs creation, and alleviate negative impacts of COVID-19.

An impressive 39 nominations were submitted this year and winners were selected by a committee of OCBC members and city management in the following categories: Business Retention and Expansion, Real Estate Reuse and Revitalization, Incorporating Innovative Technology, Sustainable and Green Development, Public-Private Partnership, and Leadership in Public Service.  To OCBC, all nominees should be celebrated for their dedication to the growth and prosperity of Orange County and for demonstrating exemplary policies that make their communities business and jobs friendly places. OCBC congratulates all of the public agencies striving to streamline bureaucracy and support business in this critical time!

To view details on each of the nominees’ programs, click here

This year’s award winners are:

Real Estate Reuse and Revitalization Program Award

City of Santa Ana: Heroes Landing (formerly Santa Ana Veterans Village)

The City of Santa Ana partnered with Jamboree Housing to establish Orange County’s largest housing development exclusively for veterans.  Heroes Landing transformed a blighted parking lot into “a sanctuary of stability” for homeless veterans. Permanent supportive housing is a proven, cost-effective solution to housing those struggling with homelessness.  Heroes Landing offers 75 units along with onsite mental health counseling and employment services, plus a 4,500 square foot community center. Heroes Landing includes 10,000 square feet of active open space, including a community garden.  The development is expected to save more than $2.5 million annually in emergency services annually.  Construction created $11.2 million in local income and 119 jobs.

Business Retention and Expansion Program Award

City of Fullerton: COVID-19 Response – CARES Act Programs

The City Council is using CARES Act funding to offer free and streamlined outdoor permits to businesses, provide low-income households with nutritious meals through the Feed Fullerton program, establish small business emergency grants and support tenants and property owners. The City also developed a business outreach team to help connect businesses with programs and resources.  The City has granted about 60 temporary outdoor permits to date, provided 1,274 meals to 219 households, and can distribute $1,116,000 in grants to small businesses. Additionally, the City set aside $300,000 in CARES Act funding to process direct payments to Fullerton landlords whose tenants are struggling to pay their rent.  Fullerton received letters of support from the North Orange County Chamber and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Incorporating Innovative Technology Program Award

City of Irvine: IrvineREADY!

IrvineREADY! is a web-based system for customer submittal of building and zoning plans, permit issuance and fee payment.  Through IrvineREADY!, the City is 100 percent digital, processing over $1.1 billion in total permit value electronically over the past 12 months. The business attraction tool became an economic lifeline during the pandemic.  Nearly 8,000 projects and 3,000 businesses have been affected since the program began, including the new City of Hope cancer center, hundreds of new homes and the Edwards Life Sciences expansion. Irvine is the only city in the greater Southern California region to transition to an entirely digital permitting and entitlement process.  The City attached support letters from Edwards Life Sciences and LPA and was featured in the California Building Officials magazine.

Sustainable and Green Development Program Award

City of Placentia: Placentia Veterans Village

Placentia partnered with Mercy Housing, the County, and New Directions to plan, design, construct and administer a permanent supportive 49-unit affordable housing development that serves homeless veterans.  The state-of-the-art Veterans Village is LEED Gold certified. The Village is the first development of its kind in Orange County and opened in March 2020.  Residents have access to an energy efficient edible garden; comprehensive onsite services, job training and direct medical clinic services.  The project’s estimated cost is nearly $22 million and was funded through city, county and state loans combined with the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.  Several residents of the Placentia Navigation Center now have permanent housing at the Veterans Village.

Public Private Partnership Award

City of Huntington Beach: OneHB Supporting Local Business

The majority of Huntington Beach’s businesses are small, “mom and pop” shops.  “Together We’re OneHB Supporting Local Businesses”, a public-private partnership, is a community campaign to offer grants of $5,000 to local small businesses. The City, the HB Chamber of Commerce, CIELO and SBDC partnered to offer this grant and business support programs and services.  OneHB secured a lead donor for $100,000 and has issued grants to 20 small businesses in danger of permanent closure so far. The OneHB campaign emphasizes unity within the community and is the first of its kind locally to bring philanthropy and community support together to keep businesses viable and open.  The program also sells OneHB merchandise, with a portion of those sales supporting the program.

Leadership in Public Service Award

County of Orange’s County Executive Officer Frank Kim

County of Orange CEO Frank Kim continues to serve as a diligent leader in an unprecedented time for Orange County. Frank dutifully oversees the execution of many programs in response to COVID-19. Frank was appointed as CEO in May 2015 and has 25 years of experience working for the County in various roles. His steadfast determination and commitment to Orange County has been one of the major reasons businesses and residents are seeing opportunities to rebound from the pandemic. A testament to Frank’s leadership at the helm of his organization, nine different County programs are recognized as nominees for the 2020 Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards. These efforts represent a broad cross-section of County departments and activities aimed at smoothing the way for businesses and residents that are navigating the economic pressures of COVID-19. For his vision and leadership in all aspects of his role as CEO, OCBC is proud to honor Frank with the Leadership in Public Service Award.

*HONORABLE MENTION* Orange County Clerk-Recorder: Hitched at Honda Center

The Clerk-Recorder partnered with Honda Center to deliver marriage services from April to June 2020 and ongoing since August 2020.  The Honda Center is an active participant by promoting appointments, decorating the site and offering their own ticket windows and interior facilities. Hitched at Honda Center significantly increased demand for marriage services to levels never before seen: between April and June, the office issued 3,900 marriage licenses and performed 2,500 civil ceremonies.  The partnership repurposed the Honda Center amid the pandemic. After approaching the window, the appointment remains as contactless as possible.  Media response to the campaign was unprecedented.  Hitched at Honda Center entirely reimagined how government services can be offered during a pandemic.


About OCBC

Orange County Business Council represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC is comprised of the region’s most influential global businesses and organizations in the region, working to assure effective investment in infrastructure, an advanced education system that produces skilled workers, growth of venture capital and high tech companies, and housing solutions for the workforce.  OCBC members include Experian, Disneyland Resort, Irvine Company, Chevron, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank and AECOM. For more information, visit

CONTACT: James Alley

Director of Communications


[email protected]

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