Latest News

August 2012

August 09, 2012


 Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                                     Issue 9: August 2012

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Microlender Kiva Provides Capital for LA’s Small Businesses to Grow

LA Business Headlines


Los Angeles understands that small businesses are the backbone of the Los Angeles economy. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand, the Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy wants to help your business thrive. Learn more >>


In the News

"L.A.'s historic Dunbar Hotel to welcome new, permanent guests" read >>

"Banks are giving small businesses a helping hand" read >>

"Survey: Local Employers More Optimistic on Hiring Prospects" read >>

"Pending home sales soar in May to highest level in two years" read >>


*Mayor Villaraigosa signs Gross Receipts Tax Elimination for New Auto Dealerships into Law." 

*Mayor Villaraigosa gives remarks at the kickoff ceremony for Kiva City Los Angeles in Boyle Heights."




Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to announce new resources and developments and advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Mayor Signs Auto Dealership Gross Receipts Tax Elimination into Law

On July 9th at Los Angeles’s new Kia Downtown dealership, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed into law a City ordinance exempting new car dealers from the City’s gross receipts tax. This signing was the culmination of efforts set into motion last fall, when Mayor Villaraigosa, in partnership with Councilmembers Garcetti and Englander, called for a revision of the existing tax structure to support the retention and growth of new car dealerships in Los Angeles.

Reforming the City’s gross receipts tax (commonly known as the City’s “business tax”) while remaining responsible to the City’s general fund has been a core component of Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan to create jobs in Los Angeles. This tax reform specifically targets new car dealerships due to their significant sales tax contributions to the City. In 2011, new car dealerships within the City of Los Angeles generated roughly six times more sales tax revenue for the City than they paid in business taxes.

“Ending the auto dealership business tax is smart policy that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “New dealerships mean new jobs for Angelenos and more revenue for our parks, libraries, and police officers.”

Los Angeles has lost 95 new car dealerships over the past 25 years, but with support from Mayor Villaraigosa’s Office of Economic and Business Policy that trend has reversed its course. Downtown LA’s “Auto Row” on Figueroa Street is now home to twice the number of new car dealerships as it was at the start of the Mayor’s term in 2005. KIA of Downtown is one of these new dealerships, and is projected to contribute over $400,000 in unencumbered sales tax revenue each year to the City’s general fund. Additionally, Kia of Downtown employs 50 people and is expected to hire an additional 15 in the coming years.

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Business Spotlight

Microlender Kiva Provides Capital for LA’s Small Businesses to Grow his commitment to small business development in Los Angeles, in June Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa participated in the kickoff ceremony for Kiva City Los Angeles in Boyle Heights. Founded in 2005, Kiva is a non-profit organization that provides micro financing through an internet-based platform, offering anyone the chance to become a lender of as little as $25. This unique micro financing tool,will help bridge existing lending gaps in Los Angeles, helping some of the 325,000 small businesses in Los Angeles gain access to the capital they need to grow their businesses and create jobs.

“Many of our small businesses, despite solid business plans, lack access to critical capital to start or expand, “Mayor Villaraigosa said at the press conference. “And microloans are difficult to come by…because big banks aren’t willing to fund those small loans that many small businesses desperately need.””

Kiva is already making a difference in Los Angeles with loans ranging in size from $1,000 to $10,000. One beneficiary of Kiva’s services is Cafe 22, a small health food-oriented cafe. Kiva granted Café 22 a micro loan to hire an additional employee in order to make deliveries and to expand their operations. Another is Betty Paleteria, an ice cream manufacturer and distributor,.Kiva’s micro-loan has allowed Betty Paleteria to grow from one ice cream cart in 2004 to 80 small ice cream carts that sell their branded paletas.

The Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) has been selected as the micro financing institution for KIVA Los Angeles. VEDC is a non-profit community development financial institution providing loans and important educational services for businesses. VEDC will utilize their extensive networks to identify potential borrowers in LA, post their profiles on Kiva, and also collect payments for Kiva lenders.

Potential lenders can visit and browse the small business owners’ profiles and then select the small businesses they want to support with a loan of $25 or more.  After the loan is made, lenders can check the site to view monthly updates of how the borrower is paying back the loan (monthly payment amount, date paid, on-time, etc) in order to track their investment.

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LA Business Headlines

New Community Plan Improves Certainty for Hollywood Businesses and Residents

On June 26th, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the updated Hollywood Community Plan into law, one week after its unanimous adoption by the City Council.At the signing ceremony, Mayor Villaraigosa spoke to the role the plan will play in helping to spur economic development while simultaneously preserving the aspects of Hollywood that make it synonymous worldwide with the film, television, and music industries.

“This update is long overdue,” Mayor Villaraigosa stated. “The last time the Hollywood Community Plan was updated was 1988.The landscape has changed considerably since then, most notably with the opening of five metro rail stops and the revitalization of the central Hollywood commercial district. While the heart of Hollywood remains the same, this community must adapt to the needs of a growing population and a changing world where resources are increasingly scarce.”

Community plans are a cornerstone of the Mayor’s development reform efforts. The Hollywood Community Plan cuts red tape by updating land use regulations to reflect the reality of Hollywood today and the shared vision for the future. The plan supports the industries that are at the heart of the entertainment capital of the world by providing incentives that encourage retention, modernization, and expansion of entertainment studios and post-production facilities.

As a land-use document, the updated Hollywood Community Plan does not generate growth, but rather plans for growth by directing it to areas where that growth will be supported by infrastructure. The transit-oriented, mixed-use development called for in this plan will create lively, walkable communities and a vibrant Regional Center that will continue to attract residents, businesses, and tourists alike.

“We hear over and over again from the builder community that ambiguity and uncertainty hinders revitalization,” said Kerry Morrison, the executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance. “In this uncertain economy, providing more clarity about the plan for the future invites investment back in. And that means new jobs and more opportunities.”

Mayor Villaraigosa Commemorates Keyes’ European Facility

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended a commemorative ceremony at the Keyes Automotive Group’s new Keyes European facility in Van Nuys on June 7, 2012.With continuous customer service support from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy, Keyes European was able to open for business in a new environmentally-friendly facility.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has made cutting red tape a focus of his administration so that Los Angeles businesses can grow and create new jobs. With the help of the Mayor’s Office, Keyes opened its new 225,000 square foot facility in time for the December 2011 holiday shopping season, achieving $26 million in sales in the first month of business. The Mayor’s Office coordinated the operations of numerous City departments including the Department of Planning, the Department of Building and Safety, the Department of Transportation, and the Bureau of Engineering so that the expansion could move smoothly through the City permitting and development process. This process has been significantly improved with the opening of the Development Services Case Management Office, where businesses receive one-on-one service navigating the City processes, and where City departments work together to resolve any conflicts.

“We are committed to making the process easier for businesses, like Keyes, to expand so that they can create more jobs,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We are changing the way Los Angeles does business so that it is easier to do business in Los Angeles.”

The Keyes Automotive Group (KAG) started with a single dealership in 1950, and since 1972 has expanded their operations throughout the Los Angeles region to include ten dealerships in the City of Los Angeles. The opening of Keyes European expands a business that supports over 750 jobs in the City of Los Angeles alone.

Funding Approved to Begin Comprehensive Code Overhaul

In May, the City Council voted unanimously to authorize $990,000 from special City funds to finance the first year of a five-year work program to revise the City’s antiquated zoning code. The City’s zoning code was last comprehensively revised 66 years ago, making it the second oldest in the United States, after only the City of Cleveland’s.

This zoning code overhaul will establish a brand new zoning structure that is clear, predictable, and legible to both laypeople and professionals. The revamped code will include a wide variety of zoning options to more effectively implement the goals and objectives of the City’s General Plan and accommodate the City’s future needs and development opportunities.

Zoning code reform is a critical element of the Mayor’s Development Reform initiative. The new code will create more zoning options that will better address community concerns and ultimately improve the quality of life in Los Angeles. The new code will also enable the Department of City Planning to shift more of its focus from case processing to more effective urban design and Community Plan implementation.

The funding strategy for this project will not produce new impacts on the City’s General Fund--a combination of annual allocations from the Construction Services Trust Fund and a temporary increase in the General Plan Maintenance Fee will generate all of the additional revenue required for the duration of this project.

Specialty Vehicle Manufacturer Grows Operations in Los Angeles June, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended the grand opening of ICON’s new manufacturing facilities in Chatsworth. The ceremony also commemorated the luxury utitlity manufacturer’s 6th anniversary of building high-end utility vehicles in the City of Los Angeles.

ICON’s decision to stay and grow in the City of Los Angeles is the direct result of the Mayor’s efforts in working with the Governor’s Office in 2010 to expand State Enterprise Zones in the San Fernando Valley. These zones--now covering much of the City of Los Angeles--provide numerous incentives for businesses located within them. These incentives include: state employer hiring credits, reduced parking ratios for new development, and discounted LADWP electricity rates.

Despite a drop in overall manufacturing employment over the past thirty years, the City of Los Angeles is currently experiencing a growth in high-skill manufacturing. Since 1980, high-skill manufacturing jobs have increased by about 40 percent, highlighting the need for technical and specialized training among production workers to sustain Los Angeles’ competitive edge.

“There is a manufacturing revival in Los Angeles and we need to educate technically trained production workers to sustain and grow the higher-skill manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow,” Mayor Villaraigosa said in his opening remarks at the ceremony.“Angelenos, working for LA companies make high quality products that we can sell on a global market.”

Jonathan and Jamie Ward founded ICON in 2006 with an interest, desire and passion to design and build luxury utility vehicles that married modern technology with retro-inspired design. ICON has since grown into a highly respected manufacturer of an array of exclusive handmade vehicles, consistently using locally based parts suppliers as well as hiring regional employees for development, engineering, and production.

ICON directly employs more than 24 local Los Angeles residents and plans to significantly expand that workforce in the coming years as demand for their vehicles continues to increase. Vehicles produced under the ICON nameplate include designs based on the famed FJ and most recently, the lauded Bronco, which won GQ magazine’s ‘Car of the Year’ award in 2011.

Craft Showcase Brings Artistic Energy to San Pedro Waterfront

In June, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Business Policy Matt Karatz spoke at a newly completed craft arts center at the Port of Los Angeles that has already become a regional destination for handcrafted goods.Known as Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, this craft arts mecca is planned to become the nation’s largest permanent indoor crafts showcase center.

Individual market stalls at Crafted, located in a refurbished and re-purposed World War II-era warehouse, are set side by side to allow artisanal food makers, designers, and craft-artists to create a bustling intersection of art and commerce at the LA waterfront. Once all warehouse refurbishments at the site are complete, the complex will total 135,000 square feet of display space for local artisans.

“Under the leadership of Mayor Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Janice Hahn, and now Councilman Joe Buscaino,” Deputy Mayor Karatz said, “the Port is investing $1.2 billion in its waterfront to transform the waterfront from a derelict and defunct logistical nightmare into a world class tourist destination.”

Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles represents a large part of the Los Angeles Waterfront Project, an extensive public waterfront redevelopment project approved by City Council in 2009.With attractions like Crafted and the USS Iowa museum, the waterfront will attract new business and investment to the San Pedro community.

“But Crafted is more than just an attraction,” Deputy Mayor Karatz emphasized.“It is a showcase for one of our region’s greatest assets, our creative talent.LA is where the world creates and innovates. The Creative Economy in LA which includes the entertainment industry, digital media, architecture, interior design, art galleries, is an over $200 billion dollar industry.”

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May 2012

May 25, 2012

 Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                                           Issue 8: May 2012

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Release of Regional Export Plan at Kickoff of Global Cities Initiative

LA Business Headlines


Los Angeles understands that small businesses are the backbone of the Los Angeles economy. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand, the Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy wants to help your business thrive. Learn more >>


In the News

"L.A. Port Sees Strong April Activity" read>>

"Manufacturing activity at 10-month high, construction spending up" read >>

"Lottery for $100M in film incentives set for June 1"
read >>

"Apartment demand drives commercial building rebound" read >>

"Hundreds flock to Venice town hall on Silicon Beach tech scene" read >>

"Exports help California reverse long-term manufacturing decline" read >>

"L.A. aims to speed development with streamlined permit process" read >>


*Mayor Villaraigosa signs the Multiple Approvals Ordinance, simplifying the review process for development projects 

*Mayor Villaraigosa speaks at the inagural Brookings Institute and JPMorgan Chase Global Cities Initiative Conference

*The White House Economic Forum placed local small businesses in discussions with senior White House officials and other successful entrepreneurs

*Deputy Mayor Matt Karatz, Councilmember Richard Alarcon, and other business and community leaders, join in the groundbreaking ceremony on the renovation of another LAHD Neighborhood Stabilization Program home.

*Alaska Airlines unveils the "Airport of the Future" at LAX. Several features of the renovated Terminal 6 include a new Board Room lounge, electrical outlets at half the seats in the new gate areas, a central service counter, and gate information displays.

*Instead of waiting in line at a ticket counter, travelers who haven't already checked in online or with a mobile device can print their boarding passes and pay for checked bags at a self-service kiosk.



Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA

New Ordinance Synchronizes Permit Expirations and Extends Project Approvals

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the Multiple Approvals Ordinance in April, cutting red tape and simplifying the review processes for development projects.Under the new ordinance, development projects that require multiple approvals from the City of Los Angeles will now have one synchronized deadline for all of their entitlements rather than several uncoordinated expirations.

In the past, many projects that had already gone through the scrutiny of the entitlement process and received a seal of approval from both the City and the community were required to spend time and money renewing their entitlements.These delays prolonged development and much-needed economic revitalization.

“By signing the Multiple Approvals Ordinance,” Mayor Villaraigosa exclaimed, “we are making progress on reforming the zoning code and moving towards a more stable, predictable, and transparent land-use regulation system in LA.”

The proposal for the ordinance was approved with broad community support in public hearings at the City Planning Commission in June 2011 and the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) in July 2011. The ordinance itself was unanimously approved by the City Council on March 30th after extensive outreach and feedback from business groups, development leaders, and community stakeholders.

“The Multiple Approvals Ordinance will be a huge benefit to infill development projects that often require several approvals in order to be sensitive to the complex needs of existing communities,” said Percy Vaz, CEO of AMCAL Multi-Housing. AMCAL has developed market-rate and affordable housing projects throughout Los Angeles.

Along with clarifying project approval processes, the Ordinance’s provision of a three-year extension period on entitlements for formerly-stalled projects will provide assurance and certainty after projects have already been approved. These new regulations will breathe new life into the City’s economic development as the economy recovers.

“Approving this ordinance will help our City weather this recovery period and emerge even stronger on the other side,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.“ Giving already approved projects the ability to become realized after years of recessionary pressure will stimulate our local economy and drive new investment into Los Angeles.”

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Business SpotlightMayor Villaraigosa Announces Release of Regional Export Plan at Kickoff of Global Cities Initiative

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the release of the Los Angeles Regional Export Plan and new funding for programs facilitating exports through the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC) during a keynote speech at the inaugural Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase Global Cities Initiative (GCI) Conference.

The Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a program borne out of a collaborative effort between JP Morgan Chase and the Brookings Institute, is designed to help 100 U.S. metropolitan areas become more “globally fluent,” so that they can better engage global demand abroad and attract global talent and capital at home. GCI will equip U.S. metropolitan leaders with the information, policy ideas, global connections, and other tools necessary to make strategic decisions and investments in order to expand the global reach of their local economies by leveraging their assets and focusing on key indicators such as advanced manufacturing, exports, foreign direct investment, and immigration.

GCI chose Los Angeles as the inaugural location due to Mayor Villaraigosa’s national leadership role in launching the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC) to grow exports at the metropolitan level. LARExC has established the first regional export plan under Brookings’ Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). Moreover, LARExC serves as a model for Metropolitan Export Initiative plans throughout the nation. With $79.8 billion worth of exports in 2010, the Los Angeles region already holds the title as the nation’s largest metropolitan export market. The region’s export sector directly supports over 312,000 jobs and indirectly supports another 227,000.

“At a time when major urban areas throughout the U.S. are facing tremendous challenges, city leaders need to be at the center of bringing private and public sector partners to the table to maximize their regions' economic development potential. The Global Cities Initiative will provide cities with a forum to have these critical conversations while simultaneously providing cities with a road map for competing in an increasingly international marketplace and creating 21st century jobs.”

In December 2011, the Mayor led a trade mission to LA’s largest trading partners in Asia to bring jobs and investment to Los Angeles. As part of this trade mission, innovative Los Angeles businesses showcased their goods and services to potential investors and customers abroad. The Mayor and officials from the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports also promoted the City’s expanded and improved global trade infrastructure.

"We are not waiting for Washington to create jobs," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "This is why Los Angeles partnered with Brookings as the first region to implement an export plan of this magnitude to help local companies reach into international markets so we can create new jobs here in Los Angeles."


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LA Business Headlines

White House Forum Helps Connect LA Businesses to Local and National Resources

In March, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Obama Administration officials in hosting the White House Urban Economic Forum at Loyola Marymount University. The forum placed local small businesses in discussions with senior White House officials and successful entrepreneurs as part of a larger effort to strengthen the local economy and to put people back to work.

Under the auspices of the White House Business Council (WHBC), the White House launched a multi-city series of Urban Economic Forums in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), with the purpose of:

1) Connecting urban entrepreneurs and business owners to the local and national resources and networks they need to grow and hire more employees;

2) Shining a spotlight on economic success stories and pockets of positive economic momentum across the country; and

3) Encouraging the commitment of more resources and attention from private and public entities to local urban entrepreneurs.

Building on the President’s Blueprint for an America Built to Last put forward in his State of the Union address, these forums connected the President’s economic vision to the needs of urban entrepreneurs, demonstrating the Administration’s ongoing commitment to supporting local economic growth.

“This White House Urban Economic Forum is the perfect opportunity for local business professionals to connect with high level administration officials who are dedicated to building the economic momentum in our cities,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.

Under the Mayor’s leadership, the City of Los Angeles has enacted policies that have improved the climate for business in the city. This includes creating the Office of Small Business, a team dedicated to meeting the needs of LA’s small businesses. Another key component of the City’s support for small business is the MBDA Business Center Los Angeles (MBC-LA), a partnership between the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the University of Southern California (USC), and the Mayor’s Office to provide strategic consulting services to help entrepreneurs access capital, win contracts, and grow their businesses.

“In Los Angeles we are hard at work creating the economic ecosystem where investors, innovators, and inventors can thrive,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We are changing the way that Los Angeles does business so that is it easier for local businesses.”

Program Helps Put Local Firms to Work Rehabilitating Foreclosed Properties

The City of Los Angeles is putting its federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to work with the launch of the Bridges To Business Success Program.

The program provides an 8-week advanced business training program to small businesses in construction, property management firms, and businesses in maintenance, REO services, and other building-related industries. The training will be focused primarily on building the capacity of minority small business owners to successfully secure both private and public sector procurement contracts. Through this valuable partnership, local businesses can help close the gap and rehabilitate foreclosed properties and place them back on the housing market.

“The Bridges to Business Success Program is an innovative public/private collaboration, funded by Citigroup and taught by USC professors, with the purpose of providing minority small business owners training to bid successfully for Neighborhood Stabilization Program projects to rehabilitate foreclosed properties,” Deputy Mayor Matt Karatz explained.

Improved Terminal Helps LAX Maintain Status as US-Mexico Gateway

As part of the Mayor’s commitment to making Los Angeles a first-class destination for tourism and business travel, Mayor Villaraigosa along with Bill Ayer, CEO of Alaska Airlines, and executives from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating Alaska Airlines’ Terminal 6 renovation.

“Alaska Airlines’ new terminal is a perfect example of what we can achieve when government and private business work together for our shared goals,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. The $238 million renovation of Terminal 6, delivered on-time and under budget, is part of LA’s $4.1 billion investment towards modernizing LAX and is part of the largest public works project in Los Angeles history.

The 13-month construction project was a collaborative effort between Alaska Airlines, LAWA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). After breaking ground in February 2011, construction in Terminal 6 was completed on schedule and approximately $33 million under budget. The construction process itself also included sustainable practices and energy efficient lighting, cooling, and heating. Part of the completed renovation is seeking LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We are investing in LAX because the Airport isn’t just a travel hub – it’s an economic engine. LAX is one of our most important economic assets and a central driver in our regional economy,” explained Mayor Villaraigosa. “The Alaska Terminal 6 project alone supported more than 1,000 direct jobs in our region. By the time it is finished, the modernization of LAX will have generated almost 40,000 jobs overall.”

The renovation and modernization project increases lobby space, replaces traditional ticketing counters with customer-friendly islands of check-in kiosks, and includes a technologically superior behind-the-scene In-Line Baggage Handling and Screening System Program. Additional security screening checkpoints have been added to facilitate quicker screening, and the number of gates for Alaska and partner airline Horizon have been increased. In addition, with a new Customs and Border Protection inspection facility, Terminal 6 International Passengers will no longer have to be bused to the Bradley International Terminal to undergo customs inspections. Such additions will allow Alaska Airlines to maintain its status as the primary airline for international flights between Los Angeles and Mexico.

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March 2012

March 30, 2012

 Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                                       Issue 7: March 2012

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Mayor Welcomes Chinese Vice President Xi to LA to Strengthen Cultural, Economic Ties

LA Business Headlines


Along with the many resources present in the Mayor's Office, both the City of Los Angeles and the Southern California Region are home to a number of offices, agencies, and groups all designed with one purpose: to help your business succeed. Learn more >>


In the News

"U.S. economy grew 3% in final quarter of 2011" read >>

"New Alaska Airlines terminal dedicated at LAX" read >>

"Conference in L.A. reflects city's rise as ad industry hub" read >>

"Tourism spending in U.S. surged 8.1% last year to $1.2 trillion" read >>

"Nationwide push to boost exports is launching in Los Angeles" read >>

"U.S. home resales have best winter in 5 years" read >>

"Retail sales rise 1.1% in February; biggest gain since September" read >>

"Construction jobs increase in California, 34 other states"
read >>

"House passes small-business bill with broad bipartisan support" read >>


*Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, US Vice President Joe Biden, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visit the International Studies Learning Center (ISLC) in South Gate, CA.

*Mayor Villaraigosa speaks at the US - China Economic and Trade Forum. This historic forum, hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, emphasized the positive trade relationship between US and China and highlighted future trade opportunities.

*All trucks must meet the 2007 Federal Clean Truck Emissions Standards otherwise they will be banned from the Port

*The New TBIT is the “crown jewel” among nearly 25 projects in Phase 1 of the overall LAX capital improvement program to modernize both international and domestic terminals, as well as the airfield.

*Artist rendering of the New Tom Bradley International Terminal (New TBIT) after completion.

*Mayor Villaraigosa, joined by Lucky Brand C.E.O David Demattei and Lucky Brand Executive V.P. Patrick Wade, on the second floor overlooking the indoor boulevard inspired by 1940's architecture.



Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA

New BusinessSource Centers Help LA Businesses Start and Grow

Mayor Villaraigosa, joined by joined Councilmember Jose Huizar and other local business leaders and organizations, commemorated the grand opening of the Boyle Heights BusinessSource Center. The Boyle Heights Center is one of six business support centers across the city that provide services to help small businesses start, grow and remain competitive within the City of Los Angeles.

The LA BusinessSource Center network is part of the Mayor's Office of Small Business' effort to expand support for key job creators in LA. The City is home to 325,000 small businesses, making Los Angeles the largest small business community in the country.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy," said Mayor Villaraigosa at the East Los Angeles BusinessSource Center. "We are reopening the BusinessSource Centers to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to create jobs and grow their businesses."

The Centers facilitate business growth and competitiveness within the City through direct training and other services for LA businesses and residents. These services include educational workshops, business and marketing technical assistance, and assistance with access to capital. The Office of Economic and Business Policy played a significant role in implementing a refined program structure at the BusinessSource Centers which will enhance outcomes at each center.

“These Los Angeles BusinessSource Center provide the kind of real-world expertise, training and support that businesses need in these challenging economic times,” said Councilmember José Huizar.

Along with the Boyle Heights center, five additional BusinessSource Centers are open to serve LA’s small businesses in Central/West Los Angeles, the North and South Valley, the Harbor region, and South LA. With the opening of these centers, businesses have greater access to the tools they need to flourish, create jobs, and contribute to the ongoing recovery of the Los Angeles economy.

To find a BusinessSource Center near you, visit

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Business SpotlightMayor Welcomes Chinese Vice President Xi to LA to Strengthen Economic, Cultural Ties

On February 16th, Mayor Villaraigosa welcomed Xi Jinping, the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, and his delegation of over 450 representatives from China to the City of Los Angeles. This was the first visit of a high-level Chinese dignitary to Los Angeles in 13 years. Xi has been China's Vice President since 2008, and is expected to replace Hu Jintao as the President of China. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, President of the Central Party School, and is ranked number six on the Politburo Standing Committee.

Vice President Xi's visit is especially important due to China's impact on Los Angeles and our local economy. China has been LA's top trading partner since 2002, and accounts for 40% of all international trade passing through the Los Angeles Customs District. Our docks, rails, and roads handle over $120 billion of the goods that flow between China and the United States. Furthermore, China contributes significantly to our tourism industry.  Each day, six flights full of tourists and business travelers arrive at LAX from China. 

Signifying the importance of our trading relationship with China, Mayor Villaraigosa welcomed Vice President Xi to Los Angeles by taking him on a quick tour of China Shipping’s terminal at the Port of Los Angeles. The Mayor showcased the expansion of China Shipping’s terminal from 72 acres to 142 acres, which includes an additional 2,500 feet of wharf space to accommodate a maximum of 1.5 million 20-foot containers. Given the international attention to the Port's environmental achievements, the Mayor also highlighted the fact that China Shipping was the first terminal in the world to use shore side power, also known as Alternative Maritime Power (AMP). When China Shipping completes the terminal expansion, the operations will support 8,400 additional direct and indirect jobs.

To build on the strong economic relationship with China, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy, hosted a US-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum. At this forum, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Matt Karatz addressed hundreds of business and political leaders in attendance and highlighted tourism and international trade opportunities between China and Los Angeles while addressing the strong cultural and business ties that already exist between LA and China

Subsequently, a signing ceremony was held where 30 agreements were signed between Chinese and American companies. Several of those companies included DreamWorks, Pfizer, Ford, Honeywell and Great Point Energy.  Mayor Villaraigosa also hosted a luncheon in honor of Vice President Xi which that attended by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, California Governor Jerry Brown, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, and Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Gary Locke.

At the signing ceremony, Deputy Mayor Matt Karatz signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Chongqing, China’s most populous city. The MOU will facilitate the opening of a Los Angeles tourism office in Chongqing. The Deputy Mayor also signed an MOU with ZTE, a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company. This MOU will facilitate ZTE's expansion in California, giving them a stronger presence in North America.

The City of Los Angeles and China have a rich tradition and a bright future for advancing mutual interests. The threads of a shared history and culture also tie China and the City of Los Angeles together.  Approximately 360,000 Chinese live in LA County– more than any other county in the US. USC has the highest number of Chinese students of any university in the US, followed by UCLA. A Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) report estimates that in total, more than 3,000 Chinese students are currently attending college in Los Angeles. When they graduate and go on to to pursue their careers, these young professionals will become important new links between the two regions. Today, Los Angeles’s Chinese-American community is a sparkling strand in the colorful weave of cultural and civic life in this city. As the soon-to-be President of China, Vice President Xi’s vision is united with Mayor Villaraigosa’s--as both leaders look to further strengthen the diplomatic relationship between China and Los Angeles.

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LA Business Headlines

Clean Truck Program Helps Port Grow Clean, Green, and Prosperous

2012 marked a bright green milestone for the City’s Clean Truck program, instituted in 2006 under Mayor Villaraigosa’s leadership: as of January 1 every drayage truck entering the Port of Los Angeles is required to meet EPA 2007 or better clean diesel standards.  This gives the Port of LA the distinction of having the highest clean air and safety standards of any major port in the world.

"The Port of Los Angeles, along with our industry partners, has made the business of moving cargo cleaner," said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., "The results speak for themselves, and we couldn't be more proud of reaching this milestone."

The Clean Truck program has far exceeded the program’s original goal of cutting truck emissions in half. Since 2006, Sulfur oxide emissions from trucks have been cut by 92%, diesel particulate matter by 89% and nitrogen oxides by 77%. In addition to putting cleaner diesel fuel trucks on the road faster, the program has also brought about the operation of 900 trucks whose engines run on alternative fuels like natural gas.

“The Clean Truck Program has greened our port for the long haul and ensured Angelenos will breathe cleaner air for generations to come,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “We have proven that we can increase economic and environmental sustainability at the same time. With $1.5 billion worth of investments in capital improvement projects over the next five years, we plan to keep the Port’s status as the nation’s premier trade gateway.”

More than 43,000 direct jobs are connected to marine terminal operations at the Port, and the Clean Truck Program has allowed the Port to continue to grow while ensuring that environmental impacts on adjacent communities are reduced and mitigated. The Port is advancing its greening efforts through further programs, including a pilot program to test a commercially feasible zero-emission truck.

Ernst and Young Launches 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Program

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended the launch of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Program, held on the occasion of the program’s 26th anniversary of serving Los Angeles. The reception brought together approximately 100 business leaders from throughout Greater Los Angeles to honor past recipients of the program’s awards, which celebrate entrepreneurs who show vision, leadership, achievement and social responsibility. Over the past three years, Greater Los Angeles semi-finalists of the EOY program awards have generated more than $17 Billion in revenue and accounted for 64,000 jobs. Ernst and Young is a huge asset to the local economy, employing over 1,200 workers in the City of Los Angeles.

New Bradley International Terminal Will Be a Gateway for Increased Tourism and Jobs

Mayor Villaraigosa took a sneak peek tour of construction at the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The improvement and expansion of the Bradley terminal is part of a $4.1 billion modernization program at the world’s fifth-busiest airport, which will create nearly 40,000 jobs for Angelenos. The new terminal will help LAX become an even more significant driver of the Los Angeles economy, and will provide ultramodern amenities including state-of-the-art concessions, information systems, passenger facilities, and art installations.

“We need a modern airport that can continue to attract airlines and passengers, as well as accommodate the next generation of airplanes,” stated Mayor Villaraigosa. “The work you see underway will help strengthen Los Angeles’s position as the gateway to the Pacific Rim.”

By early 2013, an iconic “Great Hall” section of the Tom Bradley International Terminal is scheduled to open and will welcome tourists and business travelers to Los Angeles. When the new terminal is fully operational there will be nine new boarding gates capable of accommodating the next-generation of super jumbo planes, such as the Airbus A380.

Lucky Brand Opens Brand New Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles

On February 22nd, Mayor Villaraigosa joined Councilmember Jose Huizar and the CEOs of Fifth and Pacific Companies and Lucky Brand for the grand opening of the new Lucky Brand Headquarters in the downtown Arts District. To facilitate the company’s move from the City of Vernon to the City of Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa directed his staff in the Office of Economic and Business Policy to work closely with C.E.G. Construction, the developer of the building, and Lucky Brand to troubleshoot issues in the permitting process. The Mayor’s business team contacted C.E.G. and Lucky Brand on an ongoing basis to help resolve any development related issues during the construction phase for this brand-new facility.

"I am thrilled to welcome Lucky Brand to the Creative Capital of the World," said Mayor Villaraigosa.  “We are serious about attracting employers to Los Angeles and cutting the red tape that too often kept them away in the past. That is what today is all about, creating a healthier environment for job creation in LA.”

Lucky Brand’s relocation will bring approximately 250 new jobs to the City of Los Angeles. By troubleshooting issues and resolving difficulties, the City was able to help Lucky Brand open their new headquarters more quickly and start generating economic impact and creating jobs in Los Angeles. Lucky Brand's decision to relocate jobs to the City of Los Angeles follows similar moves by Google, Coda and Belkin.

The fashion industry is a key driver of Los Angeles’s creative economy, accounting for 13 billion in annual revenue for wholesale manufacturing; 7 billion in direct and indirect wages and 110,000 direct jobs at 10,000 companies.

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January 2012

January 26, 2012

 Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                Issue 6: January 2012

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Bringing Auto Dealerships Back to LA

LA Business Headlines


International trade is the largest industry in Los Angeles in terms of employment. Nearly 300,000 jobs are directly sustained by the movement of goods in and out of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Port - the largest port complex in the United States and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - the world's sixth busiest airport.   Learn more >>

Connect with OEBP

Stay current on emerging OEBP resources in between issues of our newsletter by connecting with our new facebook and twitter profiles.

 Like us >>  Follow us >>

In the News

"California jobless rate falls for fifth straight month" read >>

"Unemployment claims at 352,000, fewest since 2008" read >>

"Report finds optimism about commercial real estate" read >>

"Port of L.A. sets U.S. record for shipping export containers" read >>

"Factory production jumps 0.9% in December from November" read >>

"Automakers plan to hire thousands of workers this year" read >>

"Commercial shoots on streets of L.A. reach record level"     read >>

"U.S. economy adds 200,000 new jobs in December" read >>

"Port of LA Shows You Can Be Pro-Jobs and Pro-Environment" read >>


*December 2011 Department of Building & Safety statistics

*Mayor Villaraigosa, along with Councilman Eric Garcetti, announce Beverly Hills Porsche's relocation

*CODA representatives give, Mayor Villaraigosa and other elected officials, a tour of the automotive maker's North American headquarters

*Mayor Villaraigosa participates in the Taichi Lake Group's announcement during his trade mission in Asia

*Mayor Villaraigosa delivers his keynote address at the 8th Annual Binational Mayors Conference

*Runway models participate in a fashion show

*Mayor Villaraigosa makes remarks at at the “Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit,” an annual event sponsored by the Los Angeles Business Council 



Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Construction and Building Permits Increase in 2011

Recently published statistics from the Department of Building and Safety indicate a significant uptick in construction activity. All major data tracked by the department showed increases over last year's totals.

Compared to last year:

· Housing Starts – up 44%
· Total Revenue – up 8%
· Building Permit Valuation – up 6%
· Plan Check Revenue – up 5%

Residential rental apartment construction remains the leader with 3,599 new housing starts so far this year.  The recession exacted a heavy toll on our real estate and construction industries, and it is encouraging to see signs of recovery in Los Angeles. The last two fiscal years have realized double digit growth in new construction and indications suggest that the trend will continue.

Interested in finding out what the Department of Buidling and Safety can do for you and your business? Click here to find out today >>

click here for full-size table

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Business Spotlight: Reforming the Business Tax and Bringing the Auto Industry Back to LA

In November, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that two successful auto businesses- CODA and Beverly Hills Porsche--have relocated to the City of Los Angeles. In addition, North Hollywood Mini Cooper is undergoing a significant expansion. In an effort to bring more auto dealerships to the City and retain existing ones, Mayor Villaraigosa has led the charge to eliminate the City’s gross receipts tax for new car dealerships. This tax, commonly known as the “business tax,” is a major deterrent to auto dealers locating in Los Angeles. In fact, prior to Beverly Hills BMW’s relocation in February, there were no new dealership openings in LA in 25 years. The Mayor’s commitment to this industry, however, has helped to make Los Angeles more competitive and we are already realizing positive results.

CODA, an advanced cleantech firm that develops electric vehicles and lithium-ion power batteries, has relocated its global headquarters from Santa Monica to the City of Los Angeles. CODA is readying to market its signature product, an electric vehicle that can reach up to 150 miles per charge. The Mayor’s Office of Economic & Business Policy worked in conjunction with Council District 10 to assist CODA’s relocation, and since moving to Los Angeles CODA has become one of the fastest-growing companies in the city. In a matter of months, the company has grown from 76 employees to 220.

Beverly Hills Porsche also decided to grow its business in Los Angeles. The company is consolidating two facilities (the showroom in Beverly Hills and a service center in Los Angeles) into one larger facility in Los Angeles. Beverly Hills Porsche projects that its annual sales will increase to $200 million by 2015.

After discussions with the Mayor’s Business Team, Mini Cooper North Hollywood’s CEO Dennis Lin confirmed his decision to expand the dealership rather than to relocate out of Los Angeles. This win-win move will retain the growing dealership’s sales tax revenue in the City of Los Angeles and create new local jobs. Within the next five years, the North Hollywood dealership projects that its total sales will increase by 82% and it expects to add 20 positions to support this growth.

The relocation of auto businesses to Los Angeles is a major benefit to the City, and it is important that the City facilitate these relocations by eliminating the gross receipts tax for auto dealerships. Auto dealerships are the third largest source of sales tax in the city, generating $29 million in sales tax last year- but only $3.6 million in business tax revenue. Eliminating the business tax for auto dealerships will attract new dealerships and create more sales, which will result in sales tax increases that are expected to be greater than the loss in business tax revenues.

At the 2011 LA Auto Show (speaking to an international auto industry audience) the Mayor expressed his dedication to bringing the auto industry back to Los Angeles:

“We’ve gone after this industry by building the infrastructure for it … giving rebates for home vehicle chargers, upgrading our building codes to support charger infrastructure, and offering a 15 percent tariff reduction for zero emission vehicles that come through the Port of LA.

First held in 1907, the LA Auto Show is the largest convention for Los Angeles, generating $120 million in local economic impact.



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LA Business Headlines

Mayor's Trade Mission Will Bring Jobs and Investments Back to LA

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa led a delegation of local and national business leaders, along with executives from the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, and LA, Inc. on a trade mission to China, Japan, and South Korea. As a result of the trip, the Mayor will host top Asian companies in 2012 to finalize agreements and secure investments that will create jobs here in Los Angeles.

“During this mission, we have strengthened our economic ties with Asia, solidified important relationships, and promoted LA as the best city to increase investment, trade, and tourism,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “I look forward to finalizing agreements in the coming year that will get shovels in the ground and put Angelenos back to work.”

From December 3 through December 14, the Mayor and his delegation held targeted meetings with key political and business leaders in China, Japan, and South Korea, which are LA’s three top trading partners by value. The region is of key importance to the Los Angeles economy—Asia is home to eight of LA’s top ten trade partners accounting for over $250 billion in two-way trade and hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

"This trade mission was of great importance," said Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Representative. "The Mayor was able to connect with Los Angeles Port and Airport clients and with companies seriously interested in investing in Los Angeles and jobs in this city. Los Angeles is the gateway to both Asia and Latin America and our economic growth and future depend on these connections."

Significant accomplishments of the trade mission include:

  • Mayor Villaraigosa signed an MOU with the Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) Company to begin the largest private expansion at the Port of LA. HMM is a Korea-based company specializing in shipping services (In 2011, Hyundai Merchant Marine’s cargo alone made up 10% of LA’s total trade volume). The company pledged to help build the Port’s Pier 500 project that will create thousands of permanent construction jobs and help keep the nation’s busiest Port competitive in the decades ahead.

  • The Mayor announced a collaborative partnership between LA-based Ikonic Entertainment Group and the Shiyan-based Taichi Lake Group. Ikonic will provide planning, concept creation, schematic design, design development, and construction oversight services in support of the project’s entertainment items, which include a Taichi Kung Fu-themed park, a $50 million live show, and related media production and publishing, totaling over $300 million. This deal highlights the potential for LA’s global-leading entertainment industry to continue to expand through opportunities abroad.

  • LA-based Forever 21 re-entered the Chinese market by opening three new Forever 21 retail stores. Forever 21 is the only North American company to compete in China in the fast-fashion sector with the likes of H&M & Zara. The Mayor attended the Beijing store opening.

New Plan for Hollywood Cuts Red Tape and Adds Clarity to the Development Process

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that he is sending the Hollywood Community Plan – a comprehensive land-use blueprint which was recently approved by the City Planning Commission – to City Council. The plan is a major component of the Mayor’s development reform agenda to cut red tape and make it easier to create jobs.

Community plans are land use policy documents that guide the physical development of the City’s neighborhoods by designating land for particular uses such as housing, business, industry, and open space and regulating the physical form and density of new development. The Hollywood plan is one of 35 community plans in Los Angeles.

“This is the first update of the Hollywood Community Plan in more than two decades,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Up until now, planning has been done in piecemeal fashion. Under this new community plan, the growth of Hollywood will be guided by a comprehensive blueprint that cuts red tape, preserves neighborhood character, and accommodates growth around transit corridors.”

The Hollywood Community Plan moves Los Angeles closer to a vision of transit-oriented development while preserving neighborhood character. The Planning Department prioritized community input, holding over 150 meetings with stakeholders. As a result of the extensive community outreach conducted during the planning process, the Hollywood Community Plan update has broad support among local business and community leaders.

“We hear over and over again from the builder community that ambiguity and uncertainty hinders revitalization,” said Kerry Morrison, the executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance. “In this uncertain economy, providing more clarity about the plan for the future invites investment back in. And that means new jobs and more opportunities.”

Binational Mayors Conference Will Foster Trade Opportunities Between LA and Mexico

On November 18th, Mayor Villaraigosa along with United States Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez welcomed mayors from California and Baja California to the U.S-Mexico Binational Mayors Summit. This summit focused on discussing the ways in which cities in the US and Mexico can be leaders in the promotion of trade and tourism between the two countries.

“Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States, and over the next 10 years, economists project that 80 percent of global economic growth will take place outside of US borders,” said Mayor Villaraigosa, “With numbers like these, developing a strong export economy in the Los Angeles region in the coming years won’t be a luxury. It will be a necessity.”

Also present at the summit were representatives from federal, state, and local export entities such as the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Center for International Trade (CITD), and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Villaraigosa also discussed actions that the City of Los Angeles is taking to promote international trade, including the 4.1 billion modernization of LAX, 1.5 billion in improvements at the Port of Los Angeles, and the creation of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council, which is working to make it easier for LA businesses to export. Mexico is California’s number one export market and the City of Los Angeles looks forward to further linking the trade ties between California and Baja California to increase prosperity for both regions.

Mayor Holds Roundtable Meeting for $13 Billion LA Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is one of the most important industries to the Los Angeles economy, creating about $13 billion in revenue annually from apparel wholesale and manufacturing businesses. In November, the Mayor met with 16 leading fashion industry executives to discuss the state of the LA fashion industry and hear recommendations on how to improve the business landscape. At the roundtable, the Mayor presented the City’s plans to support the industry, including an effort to help the fashion industry maintain its competitive advantage by reinstating occupational training programs for the apparel trade in high school and educating the local community on the impact of this industry. Plans were also presented for developing a global brand around the label “Made in LA,” highlighting garments and fashion trends that are born locally. The LA area fashion and apparel business accounts for $7 billion in direct and indirect wages and 110,000 direct jobs at approximately 10,000 companies.

Mayor Villaraigosa Outlines a More Livable Los Angeles

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered an address that highlighted the steps necessary to make Los Angeles a more livable city. The Mayor made his remarks at the Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit, an annual event sponsored by the Los Angeles Business Council. The theme of this year’s conference was “Financing Sustainable Developments That Create Jobs and New Investments”.

“When I took office in 2005, I made a commitment to work together to build a better, more livable Los Angeles. To change how the City looked and how we moved,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Since 2005, we have made a series of investments in the City to realize this vision. These investments are job generators and down payments to secure our future prosperity and ensure our City’s sustainability.”

The summit focused on the growing importance of interconnecting of housing, transportation, and sustainability. It also showed how improvements in these arenas can bring about a more economically prosperous LA. The mayor outlined specific goals for the City, including: setting housing policy goals that are mindful of the need to create affordable housing for Angelinos; continuing the push for a completed mass transit system; and encouraging the employment of sound sustainability norms and practices.

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November 2011

November 29, 2011

 Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                             Issue 5: November 2011

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: LoclVille/ Indiedesk

LA Business Headlines


Los Angeles has some of the most progressive environmental policies and initiatives in the nation, resulting in more than $1 billion of investment in cleantech programs such as sustainable development, renewable energy, and clean transportation.  Learn more >>

Connect with OEBP

Stay current on emerging OEBP resources in between issues of our newsletter by connecting with our new facebook and twitter profiles.

 Like us >>  Follow us >>

In the News

"In a holding pattern for decades, LAX development gains traction" read >>

"L.A. on course to host record number of visitors" read >>

"L.A. Auto Show revving up driver interest" read >>

"Port planning to offer incentives to shippers who reduce emissions" read >>

"Tax Relief Drives Dealership War" read >>

"Electric car makers Coda, BYD plug into LA"
read >>

"California employers add 25,700 workers in October" read >>

"Housing starts in the U.S. rose 5.1% in October" read >>

"Merchants join in bid to give Westwood Village a brighter future" read >>


*Loclville's logo/Indie Desk's main lobby

*Google's LA headquarters: 340 Main Street, Venice

*BYD grand opening in downtown Los Angeles

*Mayor Villaraigosa signs the Local Preference Ordinance into law

*Mayor Villaraigosa gives remarks at the announcement of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council

*LACI's temporary home: 411 South Hewitt Street, Los Angeles

*Mayor Villaraigosa, along with Korean Air & LAX officials, cut the ribbon celebrating the announcement



Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA


LocateLA: Search and Analyze Commercial Properties in LA

LocateLA is a free web-based application that allows companies to more readily identify an optimal location to site their business start-up, expansion, or relocation within the City of LA. The website integrates commercial and industrial real estate property listings with key workforce demographics, business information, and interactive maps.

Locate LA is a unique online tool. Users can search for properties within a specific economic incentive area, including Redevelopment Project Areas, State Enterprise Zones (SEZs), Federal Empowerment Zones, New Market Tax Credit Eligible Census Tracts, or Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). This information is included within a detailed Property Report and linked to additional information through for eligible incentive areas.

In addition to commercial property listings and current-year demographic information, LocateLA offers access to a breadth of important proprietary local data that is critical to relocation and/or expansion decisions. By using LocateLA, a business is better able to analyze and evaluate the site-specific advantages and opportunities of each unique business location.

Interested in learning more about LocateLA?  Click here to try it today >>

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Small Business Spotlight: LoclVille/Indie Desk

The over 300,000 small businesses that call LA home are the lifeblood of the city’s economy. Appreciating the potential of these firms to create the jobs and products of tomorrow, two new LA small businesses have dedicated themselves to assisting other small businesses just like them.

Loclville is a user-friendly virtual community board that helps small businesses reach potential customers in their community. After registering their business and creating a profile, business owners construct “postings” for potential clients in the community they currently or wish to service. Visitors to the site can search for events, business services, virtual business cards, and even weather information within a 30 mile radius of their location.

Kim Collins, owner of Loclville, expressed how the Mayor’s Office of Economic & Business Policy played a vital role in the creation of this website. “The Office of Economic & Business Policy understood the concept behind, which is usually the most important factor for a new business,” said Collins. “Encouragement is the basis for a startup company to survive. OEBP has been very helpful in offering me assistance and guiding me through the necessary forms required to do business in Los Angeles.”

Recently, Loclville was chosen as a push company by Microsoft and is looking to become an application for Windows 8, which will make this application available to everyone.
“After many years as an actress, wife, and mother, this is my first business venture and I am very proud of the result and thrilled by the reactions," said Collins.

Indie Desk, located on 816 S. Broadway, is a minority-owned small business in the Downtown Historic Core district, offering shared office space for entrepreneurs and small businesses. This allows small firms to cut their overhead and invest their resources to grow. With a very diverse set of clients, Indie Desk can serve any business, company, or individual.

“The Office of Economic & Business Policy was helpful in guiding us through the permits that we needed in order to do our build out,” said Andy Rosillo, owner of Indie Desk. “The office was instrumental in helping us identify the proper agencies and websites that we needed in order to get all of our questions answered, forms filled out, and proper paperwork done with the city.”

Indie Desk is located in the ground floor of the Wurlitzer building, just steps from the historic Orpheum Theatre. Indie Desk's workstations and conference room are offered at several different levels of membership with a range of prices to suit any budget.

Rosillo describes Indie Desk as “a co-working space—a middle ground between working out of your loft and renting your own office”.


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LA Business Headlines

Google’s New Venice Campus Is Latest Sign that LA’s ‘Silicon Beach’ Is Thriving

This month, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa welcomed Google, Inc. to the City of Los Angeles. Google is consolidating 500 jobs from three facilities in the City of Santa Monica into one campus--located just blocks from the beach in LA’s Venice Beach neighborhood.

Google will benefit from LA’s new Business Tax Holiday, which exempts any business that opens or relocates to Los Angeles from the City’s gross receipts tax for three years. The company will also benefit from being located within LA’s emerging “Silicon Beach” high-tech cluster.

"My message to LA-based venture capitalists and entertainment companies is to invest in local technology firms,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We have a growing creative economy in Los Angeles. Let's invest locally to help it thrive.”

As a Fortune 100 company, Google’s relocation is expected to be a catalyst for further new jobs and investment in Los Angeles’s growing high-tech sector.

Mayor Villaraigosa Welcomes BYD, a Global Leader in High-Tech Innovation

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined the mayor of China’s Shenzhen Province and Los Angeles Councilmember Jan Perry for the grand opening of BYD’s North American headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles. BYD, which stands for "Build Your Dreams," is a multi-national manufacturer of electric and hybrid vehicles, solar power systems, environmentally friendly rechargeable batteries, and energy efficient LED lighting.

BYD’s newly renovated facility, located along the Figueroa Corridor in the Downtown Auto District, will bring an estimated 150 engineering and management jobs to Los Angeles, as well as serve as the springboard for privately owned BYD dealerships across the continent. BYD’s presence in Los Angeles is expected to spawn hundreds of additional jobs in feeder industries.

"Los Angeles is where the world creates and innovates," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "By reaching out to the world and harnessing LA's unique resources, we have attracted China's leading green company to our city. BYD's new home in downtown Los Angeles is the latest sign that we are a growing hub of clean-technology jobs. We see BYD's Los Angeles opening as a catalyst that will usher in good jobs, global investment, and a more sustainable future."

LA is already the home to firms such as onGreen (which takes clean-tech start-ups and matches them with investors), BlackLine (a financial software provider), WET (a water feature design firm), and TIG/m (a company that builds green streetcars).

Local Preference Ordinance: Creating Jobs by Leveling the Playing Field

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the job-creating Local Preference Ordinance into law in October, giving local businesses an 8% competitive advantage when they bid on City contracts. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy proposed this ordinance in 2010 as a way to grow and support local businesses, and on October 14th the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the ordinance.

"We are not waiting for Washington to create jobs," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "The Local Preference Ordinance uses our own purchasing power to put people back to work. This job-creating measure helps level the playing field, making it possible for local businesses to compete more effectively for City contracts."

Currently, only 15% of City contracts go to businesses in Los Angeles--who often face disadvantages when bidding against companies outside of the city. The Local Preference Ordinance was created as a core component of the Mayor’s strategy of “Partnering for Economic Growth.” This ordinance creates jobs by helping local businesses compete for City contracts and also encourages businesses to relocate to Los Angeles County. The Local Preference Ordinance also provides up to a 5% bid credit or preference when a non-local business subcontracts with qualified local businesses.

Creating Jobs Through Exports: Mayor Launches the Los Angeles Regional Export Council

Mayor Villaraigosa announced the Los Angeles Regional Export Initiative at the facilities of local green printing company CR&A. At the center of this initiative is the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC), a public-private partnership of local organizations that will work to increase exports and grow jobs by improving LA’s exports support service network.

With 80% of global economic growth predicted to be outside the US over the next decade, LARExC will streamline the region’s export support services and help LA businesses reach international markets. Export growth is a promising mechanism to grow the LA economy--research indicates that every $1 billion in exports creates 5,500 jobs.

LARExC is comprised of seven key partners: The Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), the USC Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the UCLA Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the Port of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles World Airports.

Mayor Villaraigosa Unveils the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator

In October 2011, Mayor Villaraigosa launched the LA CleanTech Incubator (LACI) at its temporary location at 451 S. Hewitt St. This interim office will hold LACI’s operations while a permanent facility is constructed. This opening marks the latest step in the Mayor’s plan to make Los Angeles a cleantech innovation hub.

"The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator is an important investment in the future of our great city," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "LACI will have an important role in developing new profitable businesses and creating jobs right here in LA. With this project, we take a big leap forward, toward a stronger and more sustainable economy that will help distinguish LA as a center of innovation and prosperity."

LACI is a non-profit organization allied with Clean Tech Los Angeles and supported by the area’s educational and research institutions and business organizations. According to the National Business Incubator Association, incubators generate $30 in local tax revenue for every $1 of public subsidy. LACI is projected to generate more than 1,600 new jobs and accumulate approximately $82.5M in sales by its fifth year of operation.

New Transoceanic Flight Between Los Angeles and Korea Announced

Last month, Mayor Villaraigosa, along with Los Angeles International Airport officials, welcomed the first A380 Korean Air service between Seoul-Incheon International Airport and LAX. With over 200,000 Koreans living in Los Angeles, LA is home to more Koreans than any other city outside of Korea. Mayor Villaraigosa affectionately refers to Koreatown as the "Seoul of LA."

Korean Air has been LAX's second largest carrier of transoceanic passengers, and the new service will generate more than $621 million per year and 3,100 new jobs for the LA economy. Korean Air's service levels at LAX also contribute greatly to the airport's role as a gateway between Asia and South America for passengers and cargo. The carrier’s unmatched volume of lift to and from Asia, combined with its service to Brazil, make it an important partner in our effort to establish LAX as the logical midpoint between two of the fastest-growing regions in the world.

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September 2011

September 28, 2011

  Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                            Issue 4: September 2011

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Mohawk Bend

LA Business Headlines


The creative industries in Los Angeles are a major player in the regional economy, generating nearly 1 million jobs and over $100 billion in sales revenue.  Learn more >>

Connect with OEBP

Stay current on emerging OEBP resources in between issues of our newsletter by connecting with our new facebook and twitter profiles.

 Like us >>  Follow us >>

In the News

"Interest high in DWP's new solar program" read >>

"Villaraigosa lobbies Washington with jobs plan"
read >>

"Villaraigosa unveils sleeker building permit process"
read >>

"Villaraigosa celebrates major installation project in LA" read >>

"Carmakers' rebound is driving jobs in U.S." read >>

"Port of LA, Department of Commerce Launch Program to Export LA Apparel Brand to China" read >>


*The Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend

*Mayor Villaraigosa announces Farmers Insurance relocation from Simi Valley to Los Angeles.

*The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) press conference and open house

*Fashion's Night Out  2011 announcement

*Mayor Villaraigosa participates in a roundtable discussion at Variety headquarters with film production and location managers.


Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA


Building A Better LA: Development Reform Strategic Plan

To further streamline the development process and improve customer service, Mayor Villaraigosa signed an executive directive to improve the City's development review processes, improve interdepartmental coordination, enhance technology and update codes and policies to create an efficient, transparent and predictable process. The Development Reform Strategic Plan is the result of six months of intense collaboration between the Mayor's Office, consultants, management and staff from all of the departments involved in the development review process, industry professionals, and community stakeholders from across the city. 

Interested in learning more about these new reforms? Click here >>

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Small Business Spotlight: Mohawk Bend

Located at 2141 W. Sunset Blvd, Mohawk Bend is the latest restaurant welcomed by the Echo Park community. Committed to local products, Mohawk Bend distinguishes itself by having all of their food, beer, liquor and wine produced by California companies. Mohawk Bend opened its doors in a historic former theater after planning, building, and working diligently alongside community groups and City officials. 

Tony Yanow reached out to OEBP's business team to help him with their business licensing process. In collaboration with Council President Eric Garcetti's office, OEBP resolved this issue in only a month after the office was first approached. With a focus on working relationships, OEBP also facilitated a discussion between Mohawk Bend and the LAPD to negotiate hours of operation, parking restrictions, and other various concerns.

"The Office of Economic & Business Policy was instrumental in helping us navigate City requirements and neighborhood concerns while seeing us through our final stage of permitting," said Tony Yanow, Mohawk Bend's owner.

With a menu that is consistently evolving and changing with seasons, Mohawk Bend stands out as a fresh, local, and innovative new establishment in the City of Los Angeles.

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LA Business Headlines

Mayor Villaraigosa Hosts Business Roundtables in the Valley, South LA, West LA, and Downtown

In August, Mayor Villaraigosa hosted roundtable discussions in Downtown, South LA, the San Fernando Valley, and the Westside to discuss the Gross Receipts Tax and potential business tax reform initiatives. The goal of these roundtable discussions was to bring together business leaders in each economic region of the City to discuss their experience with business taxes and to better understand how potential changes to the system could improve business and facilitate growth. Mayor Villaraigosa has affirmed his dedication to reforming Los Angeles’s Business Tax structure in a way that stimulates the economy while remaining responsible to the City’s general fund.

Mayor Villaraigosa Welcomes New Farmers Insurance Facility to Los Angeles

Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilmember Dennis Zine, and City officials joined to welcome Farmers Insurance to a new Woodland Hills facility. This facility directly benefited from the City's recent development reform efforts. Farmers was able to move more employees to this location thanks to permitting support from the new Development Services Case Management Office (DSCMO), which helped the company expedite the construction of a new parking structure. The company is relocating over 1,200 employees from Simi Valley and signed a 10 year lease to occupy eight floors at the new facility.  The DSCMO is part of the Mayor’s development reform initiative which is making Los Angeles the best place to live, work, and visit. Development has a major positive impact on the local economy – even in the midst of the current economic slow-down, the $3.3 billion in construction approved last year represented 23,500 construction jobs.

Neighborhood Stabilization Program Rebuilds Areas Hardest Hit By Foreclosure Crisis

In August, Mayor Villaraigosa, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary Mercedes Márquez, Councilmember Bernard Parks, and City housing officials toured a previously foreclosed home in South Los Angeles. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding made it possible to completely renovate the home which is now in escrow with a prospective homebuyer. NSP funding was awarded to local government and non-profit agencies to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed or abandoned residential properties in order to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of home values. NSP’s investments will help stabilize housing prices in neighborhoods hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis and create or retain over 2,000 jobs through the heightened construction activity. Collectively, the City has expended $43.6 million of its NSP program funds through property acquisition, redesign, rehabilitation, sales and marketing. Learn more >>


Fashion's Night Out Returns to Los Angeles For Its Second Walk Down the Runway

On Thursday, September 8th, the City of Los Angeles participated in Fashion's Night Out, an unprecedented global initiative originally created in 2009 to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence and boost the industry's economy. This was Los Angeles's second year of citywide participation in the event.

This is the largest event in Los Angeles celebrating and supporting an industry that employs over 120,000 Angelenos and brings in $5.7 billion in retail sales annually to Los Angeles. Over 200 retailers held court with fashion shows, line debuts, themed parties and plenty of incentives to get out and shop in districts across Los Angeles, including: Melrose Avenue, S. Robertson Blvd., West 3rd St, Abbot Kinney and Ventura Blvd in Studio City. In addition, Beverly Center, Westfield Century City and The Grove each held fashion-defining events with celebrities and LA icons. Early reports in from retailers note a strong uptick in traffic and sales over last year's evening.

In addition to supporting retailers, Mayor Villaraigosa's Office of Economic & Business Policy partnered with Los Angeles PR Firm Kip Morrison & Associates to produce the city's first Fashion's Night Out public service announcement. The PSA brought together LA's fashion elite to spread the word about Fashion's Night Out and the importance of the fashion industry to the local economy. 

Interested in seeing how Los Angeles participated in this year's Fashion's Night Out? Learn more or view the PSA.

Major Solar Installation Project for the City of Los Angeles

At Walter J Towers, Mayor Villaraigosa presented owner, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, with a $476,000 rebate check as part of the DWP Solar Incentive Program. The Mayor congratulated Dr. Jayasinghe, LA Building Management and ReGreen Solar Corp on one of the largest solar panel infill projects in central Los Angeles. The Walter J Towers solar panel project is a $1.8 million project that uses 1,135 photovoltaic panels to reduce the building’s annual energy costs by 30%. The 250kW solar project translates to approximately $60,000 in annual savings. Construction began December 2010, and was completed June 1st of this year.

Variety Entertainment Roundtable: Making LA More Film-Friendly

On August 24th, Mayor Villaraigosa led a roundtable discussion at Variety Entertainment headquarters to hear how the City could make LA an even better place for film production. The Mayor has made it a priority to improve the environment for filming in Los Angeles by reducing barriers to production and creating cost-saving opportunities for this critical sector of LA’s economy. The Mayor heard from location and production managers about how well these efforts are meeting the needs of the filming community and additional ways the City can improve the environment for film production in Los Angeles. The entertainment industry is Los Angeles’s signature industry and remains LA’s fourth largest sector, with roughly 200,000 jobs in Los Angeles County. This roundtable discussion produced valuable information to ensure Los Angeles remains the entertainment capital of the world.

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August 2011

August 16, 2011

  Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                                   Issue 3: August 2011

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Beverly Hills BMW

LA Business Headlines


With more than 200 colleges and universities that collectively conduct more than $1.6 billion of research annually, LA provides a talented workforce and abundant resources to support business innovation. Learn more >> 

Connect with OEBP

Stay current on emerging OEBP resources in between issues of our newsletter by connecting with our new facebook and twitter profiles.

 Like us >>  Follow us >>

In the News

"Working on jobs" read >>

"Private sector adds 114,000 jobs in July" read >>

"Los Angeles area economy 'moving in the right direction'" read >>

"Gap weaves fabric of LA into 1969 jeans campaign" read >>

"Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in July" read >>

"Teamwork is getting LAX off the ground" read >>


*Mayor Villaraigosa and Council Member Tom LaBonge congratulate Beverly Hills BMW General Manager Seth Waskow on the opening of their new showroom in Los Angeles in February, the first auto dealership to move to LA in 25 years.

*New Deputy Mayor of Economic and Business Policy Matthew Karatz speaks with business leaders about how the City can support small to medium enterprises at a recent roundtable.

*Trammell Crow, FedEx, Deputy Mayor Matthew Karatz and members of Mayor Villaraigosa and Council Member Tony Cardenas staffs break ground on the new FedEx distribution center in the northeast San Fernando Valley. 

*Business leaders share ideas and concerns with OEBP staff during an interactive discussion in July.



Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Resource Finder 2.0 launches! 

The OEBP has upgraded and expanded the Los Angeles Works Resource Finder, an online search tool that parses the more than 150 organizations that provide support to LA businesses. Entrepreneurs, business owners, brokers and others can now tap into a more dynamic search feature of LA's comprehensive business support network.  Looking for Business Courses in the Valley? Search it now >>

City streamlines contract process

Recent improvements to the City's procurement have changed the way business can learn about and pursue contract opportunities. We want to make sure you're familiar with the new, streamlined process.

Since May 1, all new contracting opportunities with the City have been posted to the Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) ( in an effort to make the procurement process more efficient, transparent and fair.

Beginning July 1, all subcontractor outreach (with the exception of opportunities posted by the Department of Water and Power and the Los Angeles World Airports) must be done using the outreach function on

Beginning August 15, vendors can upload many of the documents required with bids on an annual basis instead of submitting paper copies with each bid.  Additional information is available on

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Business Spotlight: BMW Becomes First Auto Dealer in 25 Years to Move to Los Angeles

Beverly Hills BMW understands first-hand the level of customer service the OEBP business team provides. The auto dealership moved its sales showroom to the City in February and, thanks to the unwavering support of the OEBP business team, expanded its operations in the City with the opening of its new service center on July 18, 2011.

"Being in Los Angeles offers many benefits to Beverly Hills BMW, but above all is the exceptional support and service we received from the Mayor's Office and the City that made our new opening possible and successful," said Seth Waskow, General Manager of Beverly Hills BMW. "This project had numerous components and a strict timeline that required coordination among many departments. The perseverance and responsiveness of our business representative, Michelle Cervera, in cooperation with Bud Ovrom at Building and Safety, our development consultants at Kindel Gagan, our architects at AHT, and our contractors at Kunzik & Sera, enabled us to move forward on schedule and on budget."

Beverly Hills BMW and parent company Sonic Automotive decided to do business in Los Angeles after outgrowing its facility in Beverly Hills. In February, with the support of Mayor Villaraigosa, Council Member Tom LaBonge and Renee Switzer, it hosted the grand opening of its state-or-the-art, $30 million showroom and sales facility on Wilshire Boulevard in LA’s Miracle Mile District, becoming the first auto dealership in more than 25 years to move into Los Angeles. Collectively, auto dealerships are the largest contributor of sales tax to the City’s budget, with 54 dealerships generating $3.3 billion in sales each year—and $271 million in sales tax.

The move enabled Beverly Hills BMW to take advantage of the City’s competitive business policies, including the Business Tax Holiday, which exempts new businesses from gross receipts taxes during the first three years of operation. The company used its increased space to improve its customer experience. One of the largest BMW showrooms in the country, the new facility offers twice the service capacity and increased allocation from the manufacturer.

The new service center is located across Wilshire Boulevard. Together, these two facilities are expected to generate $145 million in revenue in 2012. They also created over 700 construction and design-related jobs. 150 permanent employees moved to staff the dealership, and an expected 40-50 additional jobs are expected to be created over the next five years. This influx of well-paying jobs across a range of skill-sets into the City of Los Angeles will help create quality employment opportunities for Angelenos.

Beverly Hills BMW is also making its mark on the LA community. This year it donated $25,000 to Wilshire Crest School, and it will match another $25,000 over the next five years. This kind of business leadership is exactly what OEBP works everyday to attract and support in Los Angeles.

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LA Business Headlines

Mayor Villaraigosa hosts business roundtable, announces new Deputy Mayor of OEBP 

On July 19, Mayor Villaraigosa convened more than 100 leaders of small and large Valley businesses to discuss ongoing efforts to create jobs and spur economic growth and announce Matthew Karatz as the new Deputy Mayor overseeing the Office of Economic and Business Policy. "I am proud to have this opportunity to continue to serve the mayor and Los Angeles and give back to a city that has given me and my family so much," Karatz said. "We've made significant progress with the innovative, business-friendly policy initiatives such as the business tax holiday, Internet business tax and local procurement policy," he said. "However, our work is far from over, and I am confident that our office can build further upon this solid foundation to attract businesses and create jobs." Read more and watch video from the roundtable

FedEx to create hundreds of jobs at former landfill site

Last month, FedEx and developer Trammell Crow broke ground on a new $140 million, 236,000 square foot distribution facility at Branford Street and San Fernando Road. Formerly a landfill, the 33-acre site will house FedEx Corp's first LEED certified building when it is completed in 2013. It will also bring hundreds of new jobs to Los Angeles, with the potential to increase by 50% within 5-6 years of opening. The rehabilitation of this long-vacant site was possible because of the vision and leadership of Trammell Crow, which persevered through multiple remediation and evaluation phases. Trammell Crow's community stewardship and business savvy will provide a vital infusion of new opportunities to the northeast San Fernando Valley, which has been hard hit by the recession and foreclosures.

Second quarter compliance reports are posted

In December, Mayor Villaraigosa issued Executive Directive 14, establishing goals for contracting with small and minority- and women-owned businesses and requiring quarterly compliance reports from departments. These reports add accountability and transparency to City hiring by tracking the number and amount of contracts awarded by department and the participation by minority- and women-owned companies. Reports on second quarter performance are now posted. View reports >> 


Office of Small Business hosts forum on support strategies

OEBP's small business team joined the business community last month in a forum focused on ways to improve the support LA provides small businesses. Created just over one year ago, the Office of Small Business has already created web-based tools to make finding and accessing resources citywide easier, redesigned the LA Business Assistance Program, made significant changes to the City's procurement policy, and expanded its capacity to provide training and case management to minority businesses through new  the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center-Los Angeles (MBC-LA).
 The key ideas raised during the roundtable, such as opportunities to partner with community colleges for hiring and training and better coordinate business support service providers, will be discussed in follow-up conversations. Learn more >>  

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July 2011

July 14, 2011

  Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                                      Issue 2: July 2011

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: TIG/m

LA Business Headlines


LA is the top ranked US port and home to the world's busiest origin and destination airport (LAX). Curious about the advantages this offers your business? Learn more >>

Connect with OEBP

Stay current on emerging OEBP resources in between issues of our newsletter by connecting with our new facebook and twitter profiles.

 Like us >>  Follow us >>

In the News

"Mayor Villaraigosa opens new office to streamline development permitting" read >>

"Mayor Villaraigosa celebrates signing of new Project Labor Agreement at the Port of LA" read >>

"LAX hopes to dominate the western skies once again" read >>

"Better fit: Free trade pact tailor made for LA apparel firms?" read >>

"Solar panel rebate program may relaunch in LA" read >>

"California exports rise for 19th straight month" read >>


*Mayor Villaraigosa announces opening of the new Development Services Case Management Office at 201 N. Figueroa. (From L to R: Matt Karatz, Managing Director, OEBP; Gary Toebben, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa; Carol Schatz, President and CEO, Central City Association of Los Angeles; Ed Reyes, Councilmember, District 1)

*The film industry thrives in LA thanks to new incentives and ongoing support from city leaders.

*Chatsworth-based streetcar manufacturer, TIG/m, displays it classic model prototype. 

*Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Jan Perry present Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with a Certificate of Appreciation for his company's investments in Los Angeles at the Microsoft World Partners Conference.



Welcome to the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works Newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA


Development reform for everyone: Development Services Case Management Office opens for business 

On Tuesday, July 12 Mayor Villaraigosa and department leaders announced the opening of the Development Services Case Management Office. The office is a new approach to processing development projects that makes working with the City simpler and easier. Expert staff from the five key departments that oversee development - Planning, Building and Safety, Bureau of Engineering, Department of Water and Power, and Transportation - are co-located in the office to ensure better coordination, easier communication, and top quality customer service. In addition, every project will be assigned a case manager who will provide support from conception to completion. Stop into the office on the 10th floor of 201 N. Figueroa Street to find support. Learn more >>  

Build bonding capacity for your business at workshops

The U.S. Department of Transportation has partnered with the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), the Mayor's Office and other partners to conduct a Bonding Education Program this summer in Los Angeles. The goal of the program is to help small businesses grow and prepare to compete for transportation contracts by learning to obtain bonding capacity. Bonding can increase a business's ability to secure City contracts substantially.


The program consists of a series of six workshops beginning July 20 designed to address what businesses need to do to become bond-ready. Attendees will be paired up with local surety bonding professionals for one-on-one guidance, and industry leaders from agencies like Caltrans, LA Metro, The Port of LA, and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) will discuss upcoming contracting opportunities. Learn more and apply >>

Bonding Education Program Seminars
Wednesdays, July 20-August 24
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

LA rolls out red carpet for the film industry with new incentives 

In recent years, the Mayor's Office has worked with FilmL.A. and various City departments to ensure the film industry can continue to thrive in LA. The City extended the fee use waiver, which allows filming at City facilities free of charge, launched a free parking program for City lots during evenings and weekends, and created a new internet tax rate category, giving internet companies the lowest tax rates in the City. Soon the film industry will enjoy an increase in the tax cap for productions from $2.5 to $5 million, as well as the new 1% sales tax refund program for quailfied film production expenditures. Learn more about what LA's doing for film >>

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Business Spotlight: TIG/m


Located in the West San Fernando Valley, TIG/m is the nation’s leading producer of self-powered hybrid electric streetcars--a one-of-a-kind technology. Instead of relying on a continuous electricity supply from overhead catenary wires, Tig/m’s streetcars have onboard battery packs that charge overnight, supplemented by a clean fuel generator. The result is lower cost, faster deployment, and fewer visual obstructions compared to traditional overhead cable or underground power systems.

TIG/m CEO Alvaro Villa is a Colombian immigrant who once worked for Disney's Imagineering department. With experience deeply rooted in the entertainment industry, Los Angeles is the only suitable home for this dynamic company.

“We have been asked by several cities to relocate,” stated Villa. “But Los Angeles is our home, and we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else other than this great city. The support we've received from MBC-LA is invaluable."

MBC-LA (formerly LA MBOC) is the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center - Los Angeles. It provides support to minority-owned businesses. TIG/m is one of its clients.

TIG/m not only plans to stay in LA, but to move to a brand new 30,000 square foot facility in the coming months with help from the Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy.

Both Villa and TIG/m have made an indelible mark on their hometown. You might recognize TIG/m’s streetcar design from The Original Farmer’s Market and Grove shopping center in the Fairfax District. The company is currently in production on heritage streetcars for projects in Baja California and San Antonio, Texas. These projects will provide a sustainable transit option for residents and visitors to move throughout the community without relying on a private car.

TIG/m is also developing a modern, low floor, articulated streetcar suitable for urban applications. This high capacity design maximizes mobility by carrying more riders per vehicle and offering a low floor for faster boarding. A single streetcar replaces an average of 30 automobiles on the street at any given time. This represents an enhancement of urban livability and an enormous overall reduction in vehicle emissions.

Based in LA’s Chatsworth neighborhood, TIG/m currently employs a staff of 15 for design, engineering, and production of streetcar systems and vehicles. The heritage vehicles are crafted by hand to the highest standards, modeled on actual vintage streetcars and featuring hardwood paneling and custom brass fittings.

OEBP is proud to have TIG/m in Los Angeles, where the world creates and innovates.

Learn more about TIG/m >>

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LA Business Headlines

LA hosts Microsoft World Partners Conference

As a result of OEBP's proactive outreach, Microsoft is holding its premiere annual event, the Microsoft World Partners Conference, in Los Angeles for the first time this week. It is the largest conference ever to take place in LA. The 5-day event will draw a total of 14,000 attendees from more than 100 countries, providing a $48 million impact to our local economy. Mayor Villaraigosa spoke to attendees Monday about LA's support of creativity and innovation and presented Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with a certificate of appreciation for the company's investments in LA, including $2 million in grants to LAUSD, software donations to local nonprofits, and the opening of the first LA-based Microsoft store in Century City. 

Restaurant and Hospitality Express Program celebrates first anniversary and positive reviews

One year after OEBP launched the Restaurant and Hospitality Express program, local entrepreneurs and business associations are calling it a success. Launched in June 2010 with the help of the Central City Association, the program streamlined the process for opening new establishments, reducing the time it takes to get a permit from 12-18 months to six. To date, 60 restaurants have opened under the new program. Learn more >> 


Mayor's Office convenes business, community stakeholders for feedback on development reform plan

Last month, OEBP convened public meetings to gather feedback from business leaders and community members on the City's development reform strategy, a comprehensive initiative to make the development process more transparent, simple and efficient for everyone, from residents remodeling a kitchen to large developers. To be finalized this month, the plan calls for changes both simple and complex that will be implemented over the short and long terms, beginning with the opening of the Development Services Case Management Office this past Tuesday.  Learn more >>  

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June 2011

June 14, 2011

  Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy                                                                      Issue 1: June 2011

In this Issue

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Business Spotlight: Equipois

LA Business Headlines


LA is home to the largest communities of the following nationalities outside of their home countries: Guatemalan, Mexican, Persian (Iran), Salvadoran, Filipino, Korean, Thai, Armenian and Vietnamese. This combination of ethnicities creates a culture and sense of place that is uniquely LA. Learn more >>

Connect with OEBP

Stay current on emerging OEBP resources in between issues of our newsletter by connecting with our new facebook and twitter profiles.

 Like us >>  Follow us >>

In the News

"L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa To The Small Business Community: Los Angeles Is Dedicated To Your Needs" read >>

"California Assembly votes to extend tax credits for in-state TV and film production" read >>

"E3 video game confab generates $25M in revenue to Los Angeles" read >>

"Small-business loans make a big comeback in LA" read >>

"Getting LAX off the ground"
read >>


*A construction site in LA circa 2007.

*Mayor Villaraigosa and Equipois leaders celebrate the opening of the company's new headquarters.

*Mayor Villaraigosa signs Executive Directive 14, establishing the Business Inclusion Program, while former First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner and OEBP business team members look on.

*Automotive Technician Internship program participants talk with Mayor Villaraigosa and former First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner.

*LA's first class of 10,000 Small Businesses participants graduates.

*The first cohort of City Fellows at City Hall.



Welcome to the first issue of the Los Angeles Works Newsletter. Each month, we will announce new resources and developments through this newsletter. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy (OEBP) publishes the Los Angeles Works newsletter to advance its mission of retaining, growing and attracting quality jobs and businesses to Los Angeles.

We welcome your feedback on how we can improve the newsletter and our support of Angelenos and LA’s business community. If you would prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe here.

Find Support for Your Business in LA

Help shape LA’s development reform strategy

Over the past year, OEBP engaged more than 200 community members and businesses in developing a strategic plan for improving the City’s development processes. Over 80% of the 500+ recommendations we received were incorporated into the draft Development Reform Strategic Plan we will present for final feedback next week. Community members convened on Saturday to share feedback on the final draft. Industry leaders are invited to weigh in and learn about the substantial improvements we will soon begin implementing at a meeting this week: 

For Industry Stakeholders:
Thursday, June 16, 2011
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Department of Building and Safety, Figueroa Plaza
201 N. Figueroa, 9th Floor Boardroom -
Please RSVP

City launches fairer, streamlined procurement process that begins July 1

To make it easier for all businesses to secure City contracts and to increase City spending with local, small, minority and women-owned businesses, all procurement opportunities will be posted to the
Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) beginning July 1. Information sessions are underway. Today OEBP convened a construction contractor roundtable, and tomorrow small businesses can get prepared to take advantage of this streamlined system and City procurement opportunities at the Business Inclusion Program Seminar. Topics to be discussed include certification classes and process, compliance requirements, contract types, and the bid evaluation process.

Business Inclusion Program Seminar
Thursday, June 16
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pacoima, CA
Get Details and Register

Mayor's Office and USC awarded $1.8M to boost job creation through MBC-LA

The Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center (LA MBOC) has a new name and structure. The new program name is Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center-Los Angeles (MBC-LA). It is operated by the University of Southern California (USC) in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy. USC and the Mayor's Office were recently awarded $1.8M from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to boost job creation and foster economic growth. This investment will help MBC-LA build on its success from last year, in which it secured $79M in contracts and $21M in financing, creating 649 jobs. Learn more >>

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Business Spotlight: Equipois

Despite being wooed by many other cities, when four-year-old Equipois began to outgrow its facilities, it decided to stay where the world creates and innovates, Los Angeles.

“We chose to stay in Los Angeles because the culture of innovation, the immensely talented labor pool, the manufacturing base and the support network all make the city an ideal place for high-growth companies,” said Eric Golden, Equipois’s President and CEO. “Mayor Villaraigosa’s administration has been key in supporting business in L.A.…Recently Mayor Villaraigosa announced a small business team dedicated to young companies like ours.That dedication is evident and immensely appreciated.”

Mayor Villaraigosa and members of the OEBP Business Team joined Equipois to celebrate the grand opening of its new 12,000 square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility at 5440 McConnell Avenue last week.

“Equipois’ expansion is a testament to the City’s commitment to supporting the specialized needs of small businesses and retaining and creating the high-tech, innovative jobs that come with them," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "The creation of the City's first-ever small business team has strengthened our commitment to helping small businesses like Equipois reach their fullest potential."

Equipois is a true LA innovator. Originated in the movie business as the Steadicam, the company’s technology is a zero gravity exoskeletal arm currently used in industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, defense and heavy machinery. Its innovation has earned it not only the business of many top companies, such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, GE, Ford, Toyota, John Deere, Caterpillar, and the U.S. military, but numerous industry accolades. Equipois was named Most Innovative Company in North America by the 2010 International "Stevie" Awards, received the Los Angeles Business Journal's Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award, and was profiled by Bloomberg as one of "America's Most Promising Startups."

"It's wonderful that the Mayor came to support this opportunity with us, bringing jobs to Los Angeles and creating innovation," said Dr. Patrick Shoon-Shiong, prominent investor and philanthropist. "For us to be able to create Los Angeles as a catalyst for manufacturing is exciting."
Secure in its new HQ and surrounded by the creativity and innovation of the LA startup community, Equipois is on pace to triple its 2010 revenue and increase its staff by 50% this year. Its progress will bolster LA’s growing tech industry, benefiting all Angelenos. To learn about how your business can thrive in LA, contact an OEBP business representative.

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LA Business Headlines

Mayor's Office and Small Business Administration sign first-ever Memorandum of Understanding

The OEBP and the U.S. Small Business Administration signed a first-ever Strategic Alliance Memorandum (aka MOU) to develop a collaborative effort to strengthen and expand small business development in the local area. This partnership will create opportunities like our improved Resource Finder (2.0 version coming soon). Learn more >>

Mayor orders first-time compliance reports on minority and women hiring

In December, Mayor Villaraigosa issued Executive Directive 14, establishing goals for contracting with small and minority- and women-owned businesses and requiring quarterly compliance reports. These reports add accountability and transparency to City hiring by tracking the number and amount of contracts awarded by department and the participation by minority- and women-owned companies. View the first reports >>

Dorothy Randle Earns Minority Small Business Champion of the Year Award

This month OEBP’s Dorothy Randle, Business Development Manager for MBC-LA, was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Los Angeles District Office as the 2011 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year. Dorothy has dedicated her life's work to making a positive difference and advocating for fair access to public agency and commercial contracts for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). She serves with passion, knowing her commitment to this work can and does influence change and helps MBEs to grow, build capacity, and retain and create jobs. Congratulations, Dorothy!

OEBP, auto dealers and colleges prepare students for auto technician careers through innovative program 

In February, Mayor Villaraigosa and former First Deputy Mayor Beutner announced a new, innovative initiative to connect industry needs with talented Angelenos in the job market. The Automotive Technician Internship program is a partnership between the Mayor's Office, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Pierce College and three auto dealers: Shammas Auto Group, Longo Toyota and Galpin Ford. The first class of 10 interns completed their paid placements in May, and one has already been offered a fulltime job. Expect more updates on this innovative program in the near future.   

New program helps small businesses increase bonding capacity

OEBP is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation-Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization; the Small Business Transportation Resource Center; and the Surety and Fidelity Association of America to kick off a new Bond Education Program designed to increase the bonding capacity of small, minority and women owned businesses. The program goal is to increase the contracting success rate of small, minority and women owned business on Department of Transportation funded projects nationally. The program has two components: a series of educational workshops and one-on-one consultations with bond agents, in which small businesses can receive direction and support throughout the process of preparing and applying for a bond. The program will begin in July. Details will be announced soon.

OEBP hosts international business symposium

In April, OEBP partnered with China Shipping, its largest customer, to convene its clients and discuss opportunities for doing business beyond LA's Port to create jobs for Angelenos. Additional symposia will take place later this year.

52 businesses graduate from Goldman Sachs pilot program

Last year, we partnered with Goldman Sachs and LA City College to launch an LA pilot of its 10,000 Small Businesses Program, which provides education and access to capital to small businesses. In January, 52 scholars graduated and now a new cohort of 70 is enrolled. Learn more the 10,000 Small Businesses website.

LA City Fellows cohort completes first year

After a year of service, the inaugural class of LA City Fellows is moving into diverse new roles within and outside of City Hall, and the program continues to grow. Two additional fellows, Nicole Legacki and Dan Caroselli, joined the program most recently, and new additions will be hired on a rolling basis. LA City Fellows is a first-of-its-kind program that brings top young talent from the business sector into City government to further Los Angeles' economic initiatives and strategies. For more information, email

Mayor's Office and partners improve services to South LA businesses

As part of a comprehensive review of Los Angeles Southwest College’s (LASC) curriculum offerings, the OEBP, LASC and Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) surveyed the needs of local small businesses. The results will inform new courses and services for the local business community, many of which will be housed in the new 44,000 square-foot School of Career & Technical Education building.

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