Santa Ana, with a population of 327 780 and a total area of 27.2 square miles, is the county seat of Orange County. It is situated right in the middle of Orange County by the Santa Ana River. It is currently the financial and government centre of the county, but it competes with Irvine for the lead in commercial growth.
One of the main goals of the city is to revitalize downtown. Based from the California State Fullerton's Grand Centre Art Center, the city created the Santa Ana Artists Village, which is home to the Bower‘s Museum as well as the Old County Courthouse. Also located downtown are a number of art galleries, theatres, the Santa Ana Civic Centre, and the Ronald Regan Federal Building and Courthouse.
The downtown area is a perfect mix between residential and commercial communities. There are historic homes in the area dating back to the late 1800's. The city is taking great care to preserve the cities historic monuments as the downtown area develops.
The economy in Santa Ana is largely dependent on technology. The city is in a position to guide the rest of Southern California into an information age. Santa Ana ranks third in California for the amount of office space available downtown, coming in behind Los Angeles and San Francisco. They ranked 13th for the largest number of businesses established and have the 14th largest consumer market in the nation .
Initially the economy in Santa Ana was dominated by agricultural industries. However, aerospace industries (notably Northrop and Huges) became prominent shortly after the end of World War II. When the University of California was built in Irvine in the mid 60's, science based industries developed and prospered. Santa Ana is considered Southern California's top high-tech area. Out of the "Fast Fifty" companies, Santa Ana has 21 of them established within the city limits.
The city strongly encourages small businesses, which is one of the reasons the city's economy is so strong. Almost a quarter of these smaller businesses are minority owned. Due to the cities strong economic base, it is able to outperform many other cities in California during difficult economic times.
Several fashion companies were founded in the County of Orange, such as St. John Dritts, Roxy, and Gotcha.
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