LAEDC Announces “Most Business Friend City Award” at Eddys®Awards

LAEDC Announces Finalists for 2010
Most Business-Friendly City Competition
Twelve cities vie for coveted award in competition to be named as L.A. County’s “friendliest” city for businesses to thrive and create jobs.

Eddy Awards to announce "Most Business Friendly City"

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) today announced the finalists for its 2010 Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County award. The cities of Alhambra, Carson, Downey, Torrance, West Covina and Whittier are finalists for the population 60,000 and over category, and the cities of Azusa, Cerritos, Commerce, Duarte, La Mirada and Monrovia are finalists in the population 60,000 and under category.

One winner from each category will be announced live at the 15th Annual Eddy® Awards on Wednesday, November 10th, at the Beverly Hilton. services.

“All of this year’s finalists have made economic development and job creation a top priority,” said LAEDC president and CEO, Bill Allen.  “This year, we received more applications from cities throughout the County than in any other year in the award’s history. These cities understand that having healthy, vibrant and prosperous communities depend on attracting, retaining and growing businesses which are so critical to sustaining our economic vitality and quality of life.”

Each of the finalists has created a business-friendly environment that encourages businesses to locate or expand in their respective communities. Business Life asked some of the cities in our coverage area as to why they fell that they should be winners in this competition.  Following are some of the answers:

Cities with population of 60,000+

Alhambra has developed a comprehensive plan for becoming the most business-friendly city in Los Angeles County with an accessible4 and responsive staff, matching potential tenants to the best possible location, streamlined procedures for enabling new businesses to open more expeditiously, modest business/utility user fees, a a host of marketing programs to attract and maintain our businesses, residents and customers.  This makes for a Win-Win situationf or Alhambra and our entire community. Alhambra was also named a finalist in 2009” stated Julio Fuentes, Alhambra’s City Manager.

West Covina Mayor Shelly Sanderson notes “we are honored to have been selected as a finalist.  This special recognition highlights West Covina’s commitment to enhancing and expanding local businesses, aggressively pursuing new businesses, and developing strategies and partnerships to provide emplyment opportunities for the region’s significant unemployed workforce.  It is because of the City’s pro-business attitude and service that we are still welcoming new retailers, small business entrepreneurs and home based businesses, even in these challenging economic times.

Downey ‘s Gilbert A. Livas Assistant City Manger notes that “In the City of Downey we believe that being business friendly is more than a slogan or a tag line, it is something we carry out daily in our interaction with the business community.  Whether it is a streamlining our building permits system, using customer surveys to improve service delivery, or aggressively courting businesses like Tesla Motors. Downey is the place where a positive can do attitude leads to business success”.

Whittier reports that “This is the second year in a row the City of Whittier has been selected as a finalist.  Angelica Frausto, Business Development Manager notes that they are pleased to be a finalist again, because “the City of Whitteir is committed to economic development and we continually seek innovative ways to assist new and existing businesses. In 2009, a local Economic Stimulus and Business Assistance plan was implemented. Among the Plan’s many components are three key incentive programs: 1) 50% subsidy of Planning an Building permit fees for commercial building improvements. 2) Etching Shield program which provides grants to replace vandalized storefront windows and install an etching protective film to deter future damage; and 3) Commercial Façade Loan program that provides funding for 2/3 of the cost of improvements to a building’s façade ($75,000 maximum).

Cities with Population Under 60,000

Azusa offers services ranging from low electric rates provided by the city’s own electric utility to inspections seven days a week for key projects. The city conducts weekly project review meetings with developers, has routine over the counter approvals, expedited plan reviews, provides technical assistance, and conducts needs assessment surveys with businesses and residents.  With an Economic Development Element as part of its General Plan, Azusa has a blueprint for effecting the economic and job creating objectives of residents and businesses.

Cerritos Mayor Joseph Cho, PhD said: “The City of Cerritos is honored to be a finalist in the LAEDC’s Most Business-Friendly City awards program.  Cerritos offers businesses an outstanding location, exceptional municipal services and a streamlined permit process Cerritos is committed too supporting economic development and business retention and expansion through competitive business tax rates and fee structures.  The City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan also helps ensure the success of Cerritos busineses”

Commerce’s commitment to its business community is demonstrated through the free employment recruitment services offered to residents by the city’s business development center. Additional incentives include four redevelopment project areas, a recycling market development zone, industrial development bonds, ombudsman services, regular standing business relationship meetings and a strong relationship with the Commerce Industrial Council. Commerce has no property, gross receipts or utility taxes on businesses. Commerce was named a finalist in 2009.

Duarte prides itself with maintaining its small town feel and a business-friendly atmosphere.. This is the first time Duarte participates in LAEDC’s Eddy Awards.  ‘Duarte provides quality services at levels found in bigger cities by strategically forming partnerships with key community stakeholders and by maintaining effective lines of communication. Duarte’s goal is to provide excellent public services while being fiscally responsible with a commitment to the City’s future.  To promote growth and communication, the City recently initiated a new user-friendly development code, website re-design, and updated its strategic planning goals that emphasize a hands-on approach” stated  Darrell George, Duarte City Manager

La Mirada has been recognized in the Kosmont-Rose Institute’s “Cost of Doing Business Survey” as one of the least expensive cities in which to do business in L.A. County.   The city’s economic development element includes a number of goals and policies designed to attract and retain key businesses. La Mirada’s incentives include no utility user tax or impact/exaction fees on businesses seeking to expand or relocate. La Mirada was a finalist in 2008 and 2009.

Monrovia public officials and staff work tirelessly to attract and retain businesses in this city of nearly 40,000 residents.  Scott Ochoa, Monrovia’s City Manager states “Monrovia is a place for business, Whether your business is large, small, a multi-national corporation or a homegrown mom-and-pop, we understand the pressure-and the value- of time, cost, quality and service.. That’s why our development review processes are streamlined and efficient, our fees and charges are extremely competitive, we solve problems as partners with business and we do it understand that your business is our success.. Come experience what Monrovia can do for you. Monrovia was also named a finalist in 2008”

In additional to naming the winners of the business friendly competition, the LAEDC will also honor the County’s largest private employer and one of the nation’s leading health plan and managed care providers, Kaiser Permanente, and Do Won Chang, Founder of Forever 21, one of the largest immigrant-founded companies in North America, at this year’s Eddy® Awards.


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