LA Mayor Bass signs directive to reduce barriers getting in way of small businesses

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Friday, June 23, 2023
Bass signs directive to reduce barriers for small businesses
L.A. Mayor Karen Bass has issued a directive aimed at making it easier for small businesses to do business in the city.

TOLUCA LAKE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- L.A. Mayor Karen Bass has issued a directive aimed at making it easier for small businesses to do business in the city.

Los Angeles is home to more than 460,000 small businesses, but many owners say there are too many barriers that prevent businesses from getting off the ground and growing.

Mika Scott, a small business owner in the healthcare industry, shared her story, which is all too familiar.

""Finding a space to rent that was zoned appropriately for medical use was daunting," Scott said. "For so long, it felt like the city was working against me instead of for me. Eventually, I found an office perfect for my needs, but instead of being met with assistance to open, I was met with more than a year and a half of delays that continue to keep me out of this space today."

Another pair, who own a jewelry business in Toluca Lake that has been around for more than 50 years, say that they consider Los Angeles a good place to do business, but there is room for improvement.

"I think there are still some archaic taxes that exist today. Chandeliers, shell casings, computers, nothing to do with inventory. A couple of mayors ago they said they were going to do away with it, but that didn't happen," said Peter and Sylvia Generales, owners of Generales and Generales Fine Jewelers.

The Generales also say they are concerned about crime.

Mayor Bass, at an event on Thursday, said she agrees with the city's small business owners and signed a directive to do something about the issue.

The executive directive signed by Bass will give all city departments 90 days to identify what regulations are outdated and hurting industry.

"I don't believe in smoke and mirrors. This is serious. I want to see some very specific outcomes," Bass said.

Small business owners say they are encouraged by the mayor's directive and are already providing suggestions, such as a tax holiday for those opening a new business and grants for young people to start their own businesses.

"It's dealing with a bureaucrat in some department. It's not the big policy things. It's the little aggravations of getting stuff done," said L.A. City Council President Paul Krekorian.