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Business Incentives & Resources

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EconDev Page Header - Incentives and Resources  

Business Incentives

The Economic Development Department maintains a list of federal, state and local incentives and resources to help businesses thrive. Please check with your tax attorney or CPA to see if your business is receiving the benefits of these incentives.

Local Incentives

  • The Facade Improvement Program grants businesses in and near the downtown area, up to $15,000 to assist with exterior design upgrades. Please note, businesses must apply and receive a Commitment Letter from the City prior to starting construction in order to be eligible.
  • Has your Vista business been a recipient of the Facade Improvement Program grant? Contact us to share your story.

State Incentives

  • College Access Tax Credit (CATC) provides a tax credit to taxpayers and businesses who contribute to Cal Grants, the State of California’s largest source of educational financial aid. The credit can be used to offset or reduce taxes. Cal Grants provide aid to in need California undergraduates, vocational training students and those in teacher certification programs. These grants help California students achieve their higher education goals.
  • The California Competes Tax Credit helps companies stay and grow in California by reducing their state income tax.
  • The California Research Credit reduces income or franchise tax. You qualify for the credit if you paid or incurred qualified research expenses while conducting qualified research in California.
  • Manufacturing and Research & Development Partial Sales and Tax Exemption manufacturers and certain research and developers may qualify for a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing and research and development equipment purchases and leases.
  • Has your Vista business received the benefit of one or more of these state incentives? Contact us to share your story.

Federal Incentives

  • The Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a Department of Energy tax incentive that provides rebates to businesses when they use alternative energy, including solar.
  • The New Markets Tax Credit Program incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities.
  • Opportunity Zones provide investors tax incentives to invest in low-income census tracts by allowing them to defer tax on capital gains and decrease taxes on potential future gains.
  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit incentive provided to private sector employers. An employer may be eligible for WOTC when they hire from certain target groups of job seekers who face employment barriers.
  • Did your Vista business received the benefit of one or more of these federal incentives? Contact us to share your story.

Business Resources

Locate a Business to Vista 

Economic Development participates in regional and national business and industrial trade events to seek out and and attract desirable businesses to Vista. Use the information below to start researching if Vista is the right location for your business.

  • Determine the best place to locate your business. There is a business park in the south end of Vista bordering the City of Carlsbad, which covers 1,600 acres and is home to over 900 businesses. Vista also has a vibrant downtown area with food, beverage and retail establishments.
  • Vista also has an Opportunity Zones which offers tax benefits to investors. Learn more about Vista's Opportunity Zone here.
  • If you have questions about the best place to locate your business in Vista, please contact Economic Development Director Kevin Ham

Grow Your Business in Vista

Vista CARES Program
(Communicate. Assist. Retain. Expand. Support.)

This business retention and expansion program strives to keep businesses from relocating to other cities; helps businesses survive economic difficulties; assists businesses with expansion that create jobs; and helps firms increase their competitiveness. In an effort to identify and understand the needs of Vista businesses, the City and the Vista Chamber of Commerce sponsor an annual outreach survey event "Vista CAREs Business Walk" with the purpose of gathering information about what businesses need to be successful in Vista.

Façade Improvement Program

Apply for up to $15,000 to upgrade a downtown building. The Façade Improvement Program (FIP) is a grant program provided to business and/or property owners for the improvement of existing buildings along designated commercial corridors within the City of Vista. The program provides a matching grant of 50% up to the maximum dollar amount based on the building’s linear foot frontage on a public way.

Save money on California corporate income tax

The California Competes Program is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California.

New tax incentive for investors with capital gains.

If your business is located in downtown Vista inside the Opportunity Zone, you may be able to help attract investment by leveraging this new tax incentive.

Experiencing challenges? We can help. 


The Business Ombudsman assists in resolving business related issues or challenges for Vista businesses. Economic Development participates in meetings held by different organizations to assist in obtaining a favorable resolution of issues impacting Economic Development in Vista. For the Business Ombudsman, please contact or or call 760.639.6165.

Clean energy incentive programs

PACE financing allows property owners to fund energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects with no up-front costs. With PACE, residential and commercial property owners living within a participating district can finance 100% of the project and pay it back over time as a voluntary property tax assessment through their existing property tax bill.

Workforce Development

The Vista Economic Development team connects employers, educators and workforce professionals in an effort to create and retain Vista jobs for Vista residents and to ensure residents have educational and training opportunities to increase their professional competitiveness. 

The San Diego Workforce Partnership can assist employers in finding and training talent.

Here is a list of employer job posting websites for each of the local higher education institutions:

City Partners

The Economic Development team collaborates with local and regional partners to support business growth in the City of Vista. Here is a list of partners businesses to explore as a resource: