Helping Out in Times of the COVID-19 Crisis

We are seeing good things from a lot of people and Eric Garcetti is working hard in the COVID-19 crisis in an attempt to help locals get through financially.  There is now a Mayor’s Fund which is offering support for those many families affected, especially in the realms of childcare, food, etc. 

Also worth taking a look at is the alliance – Philanthropy California – of over 600 foundations, charitable entities, philanthropists etc. helping during this time. 

And let’s  not forget José Andrés a chef at World Central Kitchen which is often at the forefront of feeding those in need.  Individually packaged fresh meals are being carefully prepared withing the Health Ministry’s guidelines around various areas including Los Angeles.

For those to scared to leave the house, volunteers are offering to pick up essentials, especially for seniors and those at greater risk.  Organizations that provide this include: Chef for Seniors, The Rotary Club and Recreation & Parks Department Senior Outreach Program, CalFresh Restaurant Meal Programs and Meals on Wheels

Running an LA-Based Business

There are many reasons to conduct business in LA, specifically LA county. Here we have put together a roundup and summation of those. 

With close to 18 million residents amongst the five LA counties, there is a lot of great talent from which to choose.  In addition, many of these employable individuals are well educated and trained, bolstering a wide variety of businesses.

Access to both national and international markets due to two rail carriers, three seaports, freeways, and six commercial airports. The LA Customs District annually reports huge revenue of two-way trades.

There is also the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) – established back in 1976 – which bolsters local entrepreneurs and helps with  networking opportunities  with the ultimate aim of thriving businesses.  As well, the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce has for many years provided comprehensive business training to small business leaders.

Above are just some of the many incentives that can help local business owners in LA county.

LA Businesses: What’s New?

There have been some new developments worth noting in Los Angeles recently.  Here we take a look at three: a second hand clothing store, a pizza and sandwich store and a timely renovation to an existing coffee shop.

A couple of weeks ago a new second hand store opened up in Sherman Oaks, LA County.  A GEO Holdings subsidiary, 2nd STREET USA, Inc. opened its doors at 14548 Ventura Boulevard on February 15th.  The store – the fifth of its kind throughout California – both buys and sells second-hand clothes and accessories and will have approximately 15,000 items – many designer such as Burberry, Chanel, Gucci and more – in stock.

The family owned pizza-sandwich store has just opened at 2223 S. Pacific Avenue.  The Porthole Deli and Pizza will be selling pizza, salads and sandwiches using freshly-made bread baked daily in-house. Prices are right too; you can get a pasta salad, potato salad or chips for just one dollar!  In a short time it has already developed a great reputation for its amazing deli.

Over at 6101 Wilshire Boulevard get ready for a new opening.  A couple of weeks ago Johnie’s Coffee Shop Restaurant was re-opened with a new name Bernie’s Coffee Shop. On its first day – February 19 – it hosted a Nevada Democratic Party Debate watch party followed by speeches, poetry and musical performances.  In addition, food and drinks with a Sanders theme were offered such as Break Up the Banks Burgers; Health Care for All Hash Browns and Coke No Koch!

Preservation of Local Lands

The Central Coast Heritage Protect Act was recently passed with bipartisan support.  Part of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act.  Thanks to the valiant efforts of environmental advocates, Representative Salud Carbajal and local officials there is work being undertaken to preserve and protect our land. 

The goal of the law is particularly important for Los Angeles.  It is hoping to protect increasing amounts of land – up to 250,000 acres – as protected wilderness areas within the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument

According to Rep Carbajal:

“Protecting our environment, enhancing public safety and growing our economy are not mutually exclusive. The passage of the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act proves this, and it’s a huge step forward for all of us. Our Central Coast is the most beautiful district in the nation and this bill ensures our public lands, like Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument, will be preserved—for our economy, for our environment and for future generations.”

In addition, Graciela Cabello, Director of Youth and Community Engagement at ForestWatch said:

“Protecting lands on the California Central Coast is a critical step to ensuring our children and future generations have access to wild places and to protecting fragile ecosystems. These lands are some of the most biodiverse ecoregions in the world and we want to see them protected.”

To date the bill has been supported by around 500 local organizations, businesses and landholders.

Local Award Winners

Residents in Los Angeles often get recognized for their talents, hard work and dedication to their professions.  In this article we report on some of the more recent awards and recognitions that have been offered to locals.  With this recognition can often come a boost to the local economy.

The Los Angeles Business Journal recently announced the selection of Albert Valencia and Pooja S. Nair as the region’s Top Minority Attorneys. They have been recognized for being “particularly impactful [while successfully] maintain[ing] the highest professional and ethical standards.”

California’s economy has definitely benefited from movie-makers choosing to shoot their films in the region.  One such example has been the recognition by the Los Angeles City Council of the Oscar-nominated motion picture produced locally.  This includes: Marriage Story (which has received six Oscar nominations); Ford v Ferrari (4 Oscar nominations) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (10 Oscar nominations).

Other notable local recognitions include 11 area squad players from the Crescenta Valley High, St. Francis and Flintridge Prep schools.  they received All-CIF accolades split up as follows:  Crescenta Valley High – 7 players; Flintridge Prep – 3 players and St. Francis – 1 player.  , plenty of players got the job done in helping their squads register winning campaigns.

California Consumer Privacy Act

The beginning of this year witnessed the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act. The CCPA – whose impacts go way beyond California – came into effect on the 1st of the month primarily in order to provide Californians with additional rights and privileges vis-à-vis securing their data.  Those in the UK (who will also be affected by the CCPA like they were with the GDPR in 2018) are now being trained on how to implement this.

The CCPA has been hailed as potentially a very powerful legislative addition for consumers as well as businesses and will ultimately put the US on the same page as the UK vis-à-vis global privacy. American consumers will get access to exactly what companies know about them; have power over whether they can keep that information and stop them from selling it. 

This will have quite the impact on businesses.  Many are bemoaning the extra burden it places on them in terms of time and money with a company being forced to pay up to $23.5m (4 percent of global annual revenue) with failure to comply.

For the consumer though, what could be bad? Very little apparently. Such high stakes are forcing companies to go through their cybersecurity practices with a fine tooth comb.  For Californians there is even more good news because regional policy makers have already come up with their own plan to protect personal data via the CCPA.  And, this will likely have a trickle down effect on other states and even countries given that California has the fifth largest economy in the world.

Fourth Annual Women’s March

For the fourth consecutive year, thousands of locals took to the streets to march downtown in support of women’s rights.  This year had a slightly different focus due to the upcoming elections but still featured female empowerment slogans along with jokes and off the cuff banners.  Other rights that jumped on the bandwagon were those from the LGBTQ community, immigrants, race, anti-war and more.  There were approximately 30,000 attendees (lower than the last two years). Featured speakers were: Eric Garcetti, Caitlyn Jenner and Maxine Waters.

The main event – as in previous years – took place in Washington. Even though there were less people marching, the “energy” was described as being “still there.”

Women’s Leadership Series

Last month women in leadership roles were invited to the home of Eric Garcetti.  The Mayor invited 200+ women to join him at the Getty House for the Women’s Leadership Series & Engage LA event series.

At the event, women were able to network with each other while getting information on the many female locally-owned and run businesses and how they can get involved in the future.  As well discussions centered on competing for city contracts within the four million residence city that comprises 500,000 businesses.

Within the city’s $10billion budget, 10% is dedicated to fund city contracts.  Back in 2013 – when Mayor Garcetti first took office – only 1½% of the contracts went to women. Since gender equality is such a high priority for Garcetti, this has changed.

One of the takeaways from this was that more women have to bid for contracts.  Not only is this going to result in the best person for the job and likely bring more women into positions that they deserve it will also benefit the city.

In addition, members of Garcetti’s Innovation Team (LA City’s first female Director of Finance Claire Bartels and Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Hoppes) have been attempting to simplify the process of getting contracts.

Jobs and Internships Fair

Next week the largest local annual career fair will be held at UCLA. Hosted by the UCLA Ackerman Union, the UBS (Undergraduate Business Society) Jobs & Internships Fair gives business owners the opportunity to present their vacancies to the public.

A wide variety of industries are presented including HR, marketing, operations, communications, sales and accounting.  More than 500 people come every year and all UCLA students are welcome.

As well as presenting opportunities, this event is a networking event for students and business owners.  Some of the student organizations that have attended in the past include: Alpha Kappa Psi, Bruin Advertising Team, Campus Events Commission (CEC) and Sigma Eta Pi.