The Business Perspective

Expo Line Is Popular - Thanks To L.A. County Voters

Gary Toebben on May 24, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Friday, shortly before noon, a long line snaked its way around the intersection of Colorado Avenue and 4th Street in Santa Monica. Parents with young kids, cyclists, a chanting group of L.A. Football Club fans plus hundreds more were waiting patiently for the chance to ride one of the first Expo trains leaving Santa Monica for downtown. For the first time since 1953, it's now possible to take transit from the "skyline to the shoreline," as Mayor Eric Garcetti pronounced during the opening celebration. Metro Chairman, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, carried a surfboard to the celebration, and within the first four hours, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 passengers boarded the Expo Line.

 

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Small Businesses are the Backbone of the California Economy

Gary Toebben on May 17, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott made waves when he traveled to California to poach businesses to leave the state. California Governor Brown quickly shot back that, "We're competing with nations like Brazil and France, not states like Florida." With the largest economy in the country and the 8th largest in the world according to a 2015 World Bank report, California is an ATM for political candidates and a breadbasket of great companies for governors to poach.

Readers of the “Business Perspective” know that our companies, both large and small, face major challenges with California’s business environment, including many burdensome and costly regulations and expensive housing for employees.

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Planning For Growth, Prosperity & Quality of Life

Gary Toebben on May 10, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, the L.A. City Council voted unanimously to finally move forward with construction of a Target store on Sunset and Western.  This project, which has broad neighborhood support, has been stalled for two years due to lawsuits. The Chamber applauds this long overdue decision.

 

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L.A. Floods the Halls of Congress

Gary Toebben on May 3, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week, more than 170 business and civic leaders spent two and half days in our nation’s capital, advocating for issues vital to the economic vitality and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. On the Chamber’s annual ACCESS Washington, D.C. trip, the delegation was joined by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti; L.A. City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino, Mitch Englander, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Nury Martinez; elected officials from the cities of Glendale, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and West Hollywood; LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King; LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer; and members of the Redondo Beach School Board.

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How Good Environmental Legislation Goes Wrong

Gary Toebben on April 26, 2016 at 2:00:00 pm in The Business Perspective 
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I am in Washington, D.C. this week with more than 170 elected officials, business and civic leaders for the Chamber’s annual ACCESS Washington, D.C. advocacy trip, so I decided to share with you an April 21 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by former editor and columnist Jim Newton. The Chamber actively supports the subject of this op-ed: the Southern California International Gateway.

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Global Trade Means Jobs - Let's Celebrate

Gary Toebben on April 19, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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On May 3, the Chamber will celebrate the 90th annual World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast. This event, attended by 600 community and international leaders, ignites a month of activities highlighting the importance of global trade to families and businesses in Southern California. This year’s breakfast will feature Alan F. Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, as well as special appearances by Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The breakfast will include the presentation of the prestigious Stanley T. Olafson Award for promotion of international trade to Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association and Fred Latuperissa, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Southern California Inland Empire office.

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Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. - Two Weeks from Today

Gary Toebben on April 12, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Two weeks from today, more than 150 business and civic leaders from Los Angeles County will be in Washington, D.C. to advocate for our region. We’ll be joined by City of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, members of the L.A. City Council, LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King and Board President Steve Zimmer, and elected officials from Glendale, South Bay and West Hollywood. On the agenda will be legislation to improve our economy, transportation, energy, housing, health care, technology, education and workforce development.

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California Passes Highest Minimum Wage in the Nation

Gary Toebben on April 5, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Yesterday, Governor Brown and legislative leaders gathered in Los Angeles to sign a bill raising California's minimum wage to $15 an hour - the highest in the country - by 2022. While discussions had been ongoing in the Capitol about a compromise to ward off two competing ballot measures for the November election, the language in the bill that was signed yesterday did not exist two weeks ago.

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It's Sports Time In L.A!

Gary Toebben on March 29, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last week the National Basketball Association (NBA) chose Los Angeles as the host of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The 67th annual game will take place at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, and will be the record sixth NBA All-Star game in L.A. In announcing the selection, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, "Los Angeles is known for first-class hospitality and entertainment..." This three-day event is anticipated to fill 20,000 hotel rooms and generate $100 million in spending.

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A Good Fix for L.A.'s Sidewalks

Gary Toebben on March 22, 2016 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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We've all heard the childhood superstition "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." The City of Los Angeles is currently grappling with how to repair miles of treacherous sidewalks -- without breaking the bank -- and establish who will be responsible for repairs going forward.

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