at the Chamber
WED | April 2
Business After Hours Mixer
TUE | April 8
Grow Your Business
TUE | April 8
Investing in America
Featuring Aaron Brickman, director of Invest in America
WED | April 9
Small Business Owners Roundtable
Selling your way through tough times
WED | April 9
Trade and Investment with Mexico
Featuring Michael Lally, Commercial Counselor U.S. Embassy, U.S. Commercial Service Mexico City, Mexico
TUE-FRI | April
MON | April 21
Your Guard and Reserve in Global Perspective
Employer Symposium Luncheon with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is
the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes
a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.
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Over the past year, this column has promoted economic development strategies that would create new jobs and a better quality of life for our region. The cornerstone of these initiatives is maximizing our key economic engines and eliminating costly and frustrating bureaucratic red tape at Los Angeles City Hall. We scored victories this week on both fronts with the announcement of new international flights at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the "12-2" reform at City Hall.
Nine carriers have recently announced additional or new international service to LAX, including nonstop flights to Beijing, London, Rome, Sao Paulo and Sydney. This translates into $5.6 billion and thousands of jobs for our regional economy. Between passenger service and cargo transport, each international flight at LAX generates $620 million over the course of a year and supports more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region, according to a recent report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. The announcements of these new flights are really good news since the number of international passengers flying to Southern California has declined significantly since 9/11. We applaud Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles Airport Commission for promoting LAX and our other regional airports to the world.
But this good news at LAX should not lull us to sleep with regard to the importance of renovating the airport and improving safety on its runways and taxiways. The city of Los Angeles is conducting a public survey on airport operations and renovations. Please take a moment to complete the short electronic questionnaire. It is very important that city officials hear the business perspective on the future of our airports at LAX, Ontario and Palmdale.
Angelenos also scored a victory over bureaucratic red tape last week when the city moved forward on a plan to reform the very expensive – and very frustrating – process required to build or renovate residential and commercial property. The "12-2" reform plan is a major step forward in improving customer service at City Hall and helping small businesses grow.
As its name implies, "12-2" will reduce the number of departments with which a builder must directly interact from twelve to two: Planning and Building and Safety. Appropriate checks and balances will remain under the new process.
In recent years, we have heard horror stories from businesses and residents alike who came face-to-face with the Byzantine bureaucratic approval process. Residents trying to improve their homes get shuffled from one department to the next. Home builders have resigned to hiring consultants and attorneys to navigate the process, ultimately driving up prices and making it more difficult to build affordable housing.
Mayor Villaraigosa and L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti recognized that the current process is self defeating for everyone involved. We applaud their leadership in working with the City Council and city departments. We hope it is the start of more efforts to improve efficiency and customer service at City Hall.
With spring officially here, some of our economic and reform-minded efforts are beginning to bloom. That’s good news especially as the national economy struggles to shake off old man winter.
And that’s The Business Perspective.
Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
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