Three of California's larger cities, Anaheim, Irvine, and Santa Ana, are located in the Santa Ana Anaheim Irvine metropolitan area. The Santa Ana Anaheim Irvine metropolitan area is a metropolitan division of the larger Los Angeles Long Beach Santa Ana metropolitan area, which is the second largest metropolitan area in the United States. Santa Ana is also the largest city, and the county seat of Orange County. As might be expected, the Santa Ana metropolitan area has a large and robust economy. There are ten Fortune 1000 company headquarters that are located in the Santa Ana metropolitan area, and numerous others in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Inc. magazine ranked the Santa Ana metropolitan area seventeenth on its list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" in the United States in the large cities category in 2006. Since the inception of the Inc. "Best Cities for Doing Business" list in 2004, Santa Ana/Orange County has never ranked lower than twenty-third. The criteria used by Inc. "emphasizes the robustness of a region's growth".
Long in the shadow of the economies of Los Angeles to the North, and San Diego to the South, The Santa Ana/Orange County metropolitan area has emerged with an economic diversity of its own, from medical devices to construction and more. Two of the major industries in the Santa Ana metropolitan area are government, and tourism. Both the Anaheim Convention Center and Walt Disney World Resort are located in the metropolitan area.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, major industries in and around the Santa Ana metropolitan area include (ranked by size of workforce):
- Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
- Professional and Business Services
- Leisure and Hospitality
- Financial Services
- Educational and Health Services
The Santa Ana/Orange County metropolitan area is served by the John Wayne Airport (SNA), which servers almost ten million passengers a year and is one of the primary gateways for the tourism and convention industry in Orange County. It is served by eleven commercial, three commuter, and two air-cargo carriers.
Some major companies in the Santa Ana metropolitan area include:
- Apria Healthcare Group
- Aten Technology, Inc. U.S.
- Ayn Rand Institute
- Beckman Coulter
- Blizzard Entertainment
- Edwards Lifesciences
- First American Corp.
- Gateway, Inc.
- Hurley International
- Ingram Micro
- Juice It Up!
- New Century Financial
- Rickenbacker musical instrument company
- Saleen Inc.
- Standard Pacific
- Taco Bell
- Toshiba America
- Western Digital
Some of the major business organizations in the Santa Ana metropolitan area include:
- The Orange County Business Council (OCBC)
- The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce
- The Irvine Chamber of Commerce
- The Orange Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau
- The Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce
- The South Orange County Chambers of Commerce