"So they began building their businesses here in Huntington Beach so they wouldn't have to fight the freeways," he said. "And now, with our location just about halfway between San Diego and northern Los Angeles County, and our big stock of upper middle class housing, more and more people are seeing that they can live here and locate their businesses here and don't have to drive anymore."
Inglee, president of Liberty National Bank and co-chairman last year of a business outreach conference jointly sponsored by the city and the Chamber of Commerce--the city's first effort at overtly wooing business--said his bank has financed "a dozen or 15 industrial buildings in Huntington Beach in the past few years for people who live in Huntington Beach."
According to city records, more than 13,500 businesses licenses are listed in Huntington Beach. And while some of those businesses no longer are active and some of the licenses are for part-time, at-home operations, there are an estimated 10,000 active businesses in the city, chamber of commerce officials say.
That ranks Huntington Beach in the top five cities in the county for the number of businesses it is home to, according to data compiled by Contacts Influential, publisher of regional business directories.
"The very nature of our freeway system," Inglee said, "has made Huntington Beach a good place for business, without anyone really planning it."