LAEDC, September 22, 2016
LAEDC Announces Finalists for Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County
Winners to be named at LAEDC Eddy Awards on November 10th
LOS ANGELES, CA (SEPTEMBER 22, 2016) – The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) today announced the finalists for its 2016 Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County Award. The cities of Compton, Downey, Lakewood, Long Beach, and Santa Clarita are finalists for the population 68,000 and over category, and the cities of Arcadia, Azusa, Pico Rivera and Rosemead are finalists in the population under 68,000 category. One winner from each category will be announced live at the 21st Annual Eddy Awards® on Thursday, November 10th, at the Beverly Hilton.
Business-friendly programs and services are a critical factor in job-creation.
The finalists were selected through independent review by a panel of blue ribbon judges, based on the following criteria:
- Demonstrated priority commitment to economic development
- Excellence in programs and services designed to facilitate business entry, expansion, and retention
- Competitive business tax rates and fee structures
- Availability of economic incentives
- Effective communication with and about business clients
CITIES with POPULATIONS of 68,000 and OVER
Compton’s business friendliness and public engagement help companies succeed. The City’s business loan programs, online permit portal, and business roundtables that seek input for new initiatives are all examples of business-friendly practices. Monthly town hall meetings help residents and business owners share their respective concerns with community and government representatives. Many businesses take advantage of the City’s Careerlink, a full service human resources center that provides businesses with free recruitment, interview and placement services to encourage local hiring. Compton consistently utilizes useful new financial and technical assistance resources and incentives for business growth. Compton is a City that will work with together with employers until the job is completed.
The City of Downey’s pro-business approach, progressive city government, and strong local economy make the city an excellent business location. Economic Development staff that serve as ombudsmen expertly assist businesses with entitlement, development and approval processes. The City has attractive land prices, a high quality of life, skilled workforce, and a diverse population. Over the years, community leaders have maintained a vision for future prosperity, while maintaining a realistic understanding of today’s issues. By ensuring public safety, encouraging economic growth, and supporting environmental responsibility, Downey remains a positive example and its essence of community is what makes it such a special place.
Lakewood was built as the largest planned community in America in the 1950s. Attracting new business was the key to Lakewood’s original success and the city continues that priority today. Lakewood offers expedited building plan checks and, for many projects, over-the-counter plan approvals, which allows for the prompt, professional turnaround of development requests. A business-friendly culture is strengthened by customer service training for all city employees, and sets a positive foundation for business workshops, site visits, and relationships. An innovative “Shop Lakewood” publicity program and other services welcome new businesses and promote them to local residents. This is a reason why local and national businesses continue to choose Lakewood.
The City of Long Beach has an array of programs to help businesses stay and grow, including: Pacific Gateway, which helps local businesses find, train, and retain qualified employees; the i-team, which spent the last year developing a package of initiatives to make it easier to start and grow a business in the city, and; the Ombudsmen, which serves as a central point of contact to help businesses access City services, and guide them through the permitting process. Numerous incentives that assist small business, manufacturers and other businesses encourage entrepreneurs, and an open business survey process helps the City engage and get feedback in the spirit of optimizing services and processes.
Santa Clarita is community minded and business driven. From startups to legacy firms, every business has specific goals and unique needs. Doing business in Santa Clarita means you have a support team helping navigate the challenges of sustaining a growing business. A strong network of City departments, business associations, community organizations, and governmental agencies work seamlessly to make Santa Clarita a business friendly haven in Los Angeles County. This unified approach cuts through red tape, streamlines permits, and ultimately provides more efficiency for local businesses.
CITIES with POPULATIONS UNDER 68,000
For years, Arcadia has quietly been one of the best places to live and raise a family in the Los Angeles area. Recently, it has also become a very friendly and welcoming place to do business. Encapsulated by their marketing campaign “See Arcadia. Above & Beyond”, Arcadia prides itself on having a nimble and dedicated city staff, a vibrant local economy, and a business friendly approach. Online business licensing, and next-day scheduling for construction inspections are examples of ease of doing business. Economic highlights include Santa Anita Park (horseracing), Westfield Santa Anita mall, a resurgent Historic Downtown District with new Metro Gold Line Station, and world-renowned Asian dining.
A new Azusa is emerging. The City is revitalizing the community by offering new choices for living, working and exploring. The City understands that providing the highest quality of life is a means of achieving positive economic development benefits. An ombudsman also provides one-on-one assistance to businesses. Nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and with access to a reliable source of water, affordable electric rates and a sustainable infrastructure featuring two light rail Foothill Gold Line Stations, Azusa is prepared to be the ideal destination for residents, businesses and explorers.
Over the years, The City of Pico Rivera has had a vision to make it the most business friendly city in Los Angeles County. City officials have made developing relationships with the business community a priority and have taken the action necessary to keep tax dollars and businesses in the city. Ongoing city staff training focuses on customer service and continuous re-evaluation of services to increase value and business-friendliness sets the City apart. What is of utmost importance to the city is creating a dialogue with businesses, and assuring them that they have the backing of all the city’s leaders and staff with one common goal…success! Pico Rivera – Vision – Action – Success!
Rosemead is a business-friendly city that welcomes the opportunity to work with new and existing businesses. Rosemead provides a one-day turnaround in business licensing, has a very low tax rate, provides expedited permitting processing, strategic planning, and has the ability to attract and retain a dynamic range of businesses. In addition, the Business Walk program ensures city staff visit businesses to listen to concerns and needs, and offer various resources to set a foundation for continued success.
In addition to the live announcement of the Most Business Friendly Cities in L.A. County, the Eddy Awards gala will also celebrate the following three individual, corporate and education honorees.
Brian Lee is CEO and Co-Founder of The Honest Company, which he launched alongside Jessica Alba in 2012 with a mission to inspire and empower people to live a healthy, happy life. He exemplifies the best of the L.A. entrepreneurial spirit. A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Lee also co-founded LegalZoom and ShoeDazzle, both of which add to the vitality of the Los Angeles high tech sector.
AECOM designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets in over 150 countries. With more than 90,000 employees worldwide, and over 2,400 employees in L.A. County, AECOM manages large regional projects throughout the County of Los Angeles such as the L.A. Community College District’s $6 billion construction program, Metro rail line extensions and improvements, and the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. In addition, AECOM actively promotes contracting opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses through community-based contracts and boot camp trainings that help local businesses learn to bid competitively for construction projects.
California State University, Long Beach is nationally recognized for its partnering role in pioneering a seamless educational pathway model with The Long Beach College Promise, which is increasing graduation rates and helping thousands of economically disadvantaged students realize their dreams, and which served as the inspiration for President Obama’s America’s College Promise. Growing in number by more than 10,000 each year, CSULB’s 300,000-plus alumni are transforming communities for the better throughout Southern California.
About the Eddy Awards® www.laedc.org/eddy
The Eddy Awards were introduced by LAEDC in 1996 to celebrate exceptional contributions to economic development in the L.A. region, consistent with LAEDC’s focus on increasing shared prosperity for our residents and communities. The Eddy Awards gala dinner, where our region’s leaders come together, includes California’s only “business-friendly city” award, highlighting programs and services that foster job-creation. For sponsorship or tickets, contact Rick Moelis at 213-236-4812 firstname.lastname@example.org
About LAEDC www.laedc.org
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) is focused on raising standards of living for residents of L.A. County by increasing economic opportunity and regional prosperity. Through collaborative economic development leadership the LAEDC promotes a globally competitive, prosperous and growing L.A. County economy to improve the health and wellbeing of its residents and communities and enable those residents to meet their basic human need for a job. Offering objective economic research and analysis, strategic assistance to government and business, and targeted public policy, LAEDC is guided and supported by the expertise and counsel of its business, government and education members and partners. LAEDC was established in 1981 as a private, non-profit, public benefit corporation.
Media contact: Lawren Markle, Director of Public Relations, Lawren.Markle@LAEDC.org, 213-236-4847