California site appeals to biz

State agency revamps site to retain and attract businesses, promote economic opportunity

California Technology, Trade & Commerce Agency

With the world's fifth largest economy, California officials know all too

well that retaining and attracting businesses to their state is a fiercely

competitive pursuit.

As part of that effort, the state government's Technology, Trade and

Commerce Agency (TTCA) unveiled a revamped Web site Nov. 5 to promote California's

$1.4 trillion economy and continued investment and economic opportunity.

The TTCA is the first in the state to follow Gov. Gray Davis' year-old

mandate for all state agencies to integrate new and existing Internet applications

into the state portal's software and network architecture.

Norman Williams, the agency's assistant secretary, said the redesigned

site also reflects a sound marketing and business decision. The site's template

is simple, and information is just three clicks away. That's important for

company representatives who can't spend a lot of time waiting on the phone

for information, he said.

"A lot of businesses need to operate at light speed, and they need to

have answers to their questions right away," he said. Because the business

community is hooked into the Internet, "they want this information hooked

onto the computer screen," he added.

One new interactive part of the site deals with reimbursement of fees

that motion picture crews accrue while filming on state property. Previously,

they had to mail the information, but now users can submit all the information

online without ever having to talk to anyone, Williams said.

TTCA officials talked with businesses in designing the site and received

technical assistance from Deloitte Consulting.

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