Los Angeles Business Journal

Howard Fine is a 19-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has covered public policy issues, energy companies, transportation, economic development, banking and finance and various special assignments. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Association of Area Business Publications and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

A Los Angeles native, Howard graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in English from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Howard obtained a master of science degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Illinois. Prior to joining the Business Journal, Howard spent seven years as Staff Reporter at the Orange County Business Journal and before that, as Orange County Bureau Chief for City News Service.

Regulation and Policy is a biweekly column that keeps business leaders apprised of new city, county and state regulatory issues that may affect their businesses.

Recent Stories

Party Prospects

Local businessmen’s support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may secure roles in Republican administration, including gig as Treasury secretary

Businessmen boosters of Donald Trump may have secured a line on the White House.

Businesses May Pay for Ex-Con Hiring Measure

EMPLOYMENT: Critics of city of L.A. proposal fear costly interview process.

Hiring workers could get a bit tougher for many employers in the city of Los Angeles.

Pepperdine’s Graziadio School to Launch Business Incubator

Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management is launching a business incubator with a donation from a local venture capital investor, the Malibu university announced Thursday. Dan and Coco Peate made a “multimillion dollar” to launch the incubator, which will be called the Peate Institute for Entrepreneurship. The exact amount of the donation was not disclosed. It will operate at a yet-to-be-chosen site in the Conejo Valley, near Pepperdine’s Thousand Oaks campus and the Ventura headquarters of Dan Peate’s venture capital firm, Peate Ventures.

L.A. City Council Approves Sidewalk Repair Plan

After years of complaints from residents and businesses about crumbling sidewalks, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.4 billion citywide sidewalk repair program, with rebates for residents and businesses that repair sidewalks on their own. The program represents a unique split-responsibility approach, with the city assuming most repair costs for the next 30 years and then turning over complete responsibility for repairs to adjacent residential or commercial property owners.

Trump to Tap L.A. Financier Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump is set to name L.A. financier Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary, numerous media reports said Tuesday afternoon. Mnuchin, 53, was Trump’s national campaign finance chairman and had been on the short list for the Treasury post. The Bel Air resident currently runs hedge fund Dune Capital Management.

Forecaster of Recession Fuzzy on Trump’s Future

ECONOMY: No bubble in housing market, according to Christopher Thornberg.

Economist Christopher Thornberg is not ready to give a vote of confidence to the president-elect.

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Under Cloud

Tax hikes could burn vaping shops, customers

Vaping businesses fear a new state tax will leave little breathing room for their profit margins.

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Doing Business in L.A. Grew Tougher This Year

COMMERCE: Survey sees costs jumping even higher in 2016 with new taxes.

It might not be what local business owners want to hear, but the cost of doing business in Los Angeles has gone up yet again and will likely jump even more next year, according to a survey to be released this week. The annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey has classified 46 of the 74 Los Angeles County cities surveyed as either “high cost” or “very high cost” in terms of tax and fee rates for businesses in 2016. That’s up from 45 last year and 44 the year before that, representing a steadily increasing trend. Even worse, eight area cities – including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Culver City – rank among the 20 most expensive cities in which to do business in the Western United States. That’s also up one from last year.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 5.1 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.1 percent in October even as the number of payroll jobs reached 4.4 million for the first time ever, state figures released Friday show. The county’s unemployment rate edged up for the second straight month from 5 percent in September and a low of 4.9 percent in August, according to figures from the California Employment Development Department. A year ago, the rate was 6.1 percent.

Judge Rebuffs City’s Bid to Seize Water System

UTILITY: Tentative ruling questions advances under Claremont’s ownership.

Judge’s ruling may sink Claremont’s bid to take over Golden State Water’s local operations.

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