Lawmakers and Business Leaders Discuss What Needs to Be Done for LA Economy to Recover – Daily News

As the pandemic hit small businesses and drove homelessness to new highs, business leaders and elected officials gathered for a lunch hosted by the Valley Industry & Commerce Association to address the area’s most pressing issues on Thursday, September 9th and to discuss the needs to be done for the economy to recover.

It was the first in-person VICA event since 2019, attended by many officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles District Leader Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles City Councilors Bob Blumenfield, John Lee, Monica Rodriguez and Paul Koretz, the San Fernando Councilor Cindy Montanez, LAUSD Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, City Controller Ron Galperin, and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

The event was jointly sponsored by the Los Angeles Daily News, Lyft and Wescom.

Feuer, who recently took part in the 2022 mayoral campaign, said one of the city’s biggest challenges is homelessness and the next mayor needs to bring “brave, experienced leadership” to town hall.

If elected, he said, he would “declare a state of emergency that gives the mayor additional powers and shakes the public up”.

His plan, he added, is “to bring about a tangible decrease in homelessness on the streets year after year, with the primary goal of eliminating it in five years”.

Fire said the city must “dramatically speed up” the approval process for the construction of affordable and homeless housing. But there also has to be an end date because our public spaces have to be safe and accessible to all, ”he said.

Galperin, who competes for the Los Angeles County board of directors currently held by Shelia Kuehl, said the city could take some steps to invest in businesses, create jobs and help revitalize the economy.

He said one of the ways the city can support local businesses is by entering into contracts and buying goods from them.

The city’s top spending categories include software ($ 41.3 million), automobiles ($ 24.9 million), construction and equipment ($ 22.4 million), asphalt ($ 18.9 million) Dollars), helicopters and related equipment ($ 16.8 million), according to the controller’s latest report.

In recent years, the city has bought only 18% of its goods from Los Angeles companies and less than a third from companies in the county – spending the equivalent of half a billion dollars.

The city recently signed a $ 22 million contract with a supplier in Carlsbad for the delivery of asphalt.

“We paid 1.4 million in sales tax and who benefited from it?” He said. “Well, God bless you, the city of Karlovy Vary. But what about the city of Los Angeles? “

One way the city can help small businesses is to make sure it makes purchases from businesses owned by women and LGBTQ who “represent the full diversity of Los Angeles.”

Carolyn Hull, general manager of the Los Angeles city’s business and people development division, said the program is expected to provide over $ 50 million to small businesses, micro-entrepreneurs, street vendors and childcare providers.

The city is looking for ways to support businesses and residents in underserved communities.

One of the priorities of the program is technical support for small businesses.

“You can give money to companies,” she said, “but what many of our mom and pop shops really need is technical support.”

Another program known as the city’s Legacy Business Program focuses on helping restaurants that have been around for decades and are now feeling the pressure of rising rents.

“We want to make sure that places we consider the heart and soul of Los Angeles remain the heart and soul of Los Angeles,” she said.

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