Donít Let This Drought Go Down the Drain

Gary Toebben on July 28, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Two weeks ago, State officials approved an emergency regulation imposing $500 fines on water users who violate mandatory conservation measures. With 80 percent of the State now in extreme drought, it's imperative that we all conserve as much water as possible. Visit SoCal WaterSmart to find out what water conservation programs are available for your home and business. 

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They Thought We Were Crazy

Gary Toebben on July 22, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In 2009 when the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to end chronic and veteran homelessness in L.A. County, most people either ignored the announcement or thought we were crazy. Los Angeles was the homeless capital of the United States and it would always be that way.  

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2014 and the New World of Health Insurance

E. Jones, MPH, ACA Implementation Specialist on July 16, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Recently, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1446, allowing small group employers with a health insurance plan that was in effect on Dec. 31, 2013, and still in effect as of the passage of the bill, to renew their current health plan, even if it does not meet certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This means that some small group employers now have the option of keeping their current 2013 non-ACA-compliant, non-grandfathered plans for one more year. The extended transitional period will give small employers more time to prepare to bear the costs associated with plans that fully comply with the ACA, and more time to consider their choices while moving into the new world of health insurance.   

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Speak Up Today About Water

Gary Toebben on July 14, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In two weeks, on Tuesday, July 29, state and federal officials will officially close the comment period on a water infrastructure project that will impact Southern California forever. The Chamber submitted its letter on May 6 and we need all of our members to send their comments as well.   

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West Coast Ports Negotiations are Critical to Regional Economy

Gary Toebben on July 8, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The initial deadline for reaching agreement on a new labor contract governing America's 29 West Coast ports passed a week ago today and the uncertainty of negotiations has many businesses in Southern California worried. That is why the Chamber has joined with many other U.S. business organizations in encouraging the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to make every attempt to conclude a new agreement as quickly as possible.

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Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty

Gary Toebben on July 1, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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As our country celebrates its 238th birthday this Friday, we look back in appreciation of the brave men and women who shaped our country and sacrificed to preserve the ideals of our democracy, one of which is the ability for Americans to vote in secret ballot.

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Three Things You Can Do to Lower Your Health Care Costs

L.A. Area Chamber on July 1, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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In last week’s blog post, we shared an overview of cost drivers in the health care system. This week, we would like to share three strategies to consider to begin driving down health care costs for small employers.

Providing health coverage has numerous benefits for you as a small business owner. It can help you attract and retain good employees. But even more important, it can help you maintain a healthy workforce, which is critical to the future success of your business.

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L.A. County to Invest $24 Million in Youth Employment

Gary Toebben on June 24, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, Supervisor Don Knabe announced L.A. County’s $24 million commitment to LA Youth Jobs “Earn & Learn” summer youth employment. This investment will enable 12,000 young adults ages 14-21 to develop work readiness skills and gain exposure to careers while earning wages. Each youth will earn about $1,100 and also receive special training in financial literacy.

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Why Are Health Care Costs So High?

L.A. Area Chamber on June 18, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Health care premiums have generally increased year after year due to complex factors. As a business owner, you can still take action to lighten health care costs now for your employees. With payment reform and delivery system reform, small businesses are beginning to see a way to bring down costs. We will discuss these strategies more in the next couple of blog posts.

The average annual premium for single coverage in an employer-sponsored health plan in 2011 was $5,429 ($15,073 for family coverage). That represents an 8 percent increase for single coverage and a 9 percent increase for family coverage from 2010 (inflation based on the Consumer Price Index was only 3.2 percent in 2011).

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Kings Make Our City Proud and Set an Example

Gary Toebben on June 17, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The teamwork, hard work and humility of the players, coaches, management and ownership of the Los Angeles Kings makes me extraordinarily proud of our 2014 Stanley Cup Champions. I've watched sporting events all my life, but I can't remember a championship team at the professional level that so completely embodies the values that I grew up with as a farm kid in Nebraska.  

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