Los Angeles Business Journal

County Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 5 Percent, But Job Growth Strong

L.A. County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in September to 5 percent despite relatively strong job growth for the month, state figures released Friday show.

Powering Up

Swell Energy plugs batteries along with financing packages to homeowners

Swell charges into the home battery market on back of its financial packaging plan.

Solar Company Loses Sizzle Through Expansion

POWER: Verengo files for Chapter 11 after Eastern states’ cooler reception.

Verengo Solar files for bankruptcy after getting burned by an overambitious expansion plan.

Oil Companies Seek to Hold Ground on Drilling

ENERGY: Rule changes by city of L.A. include hike in cost of permit process.

A trade group representing small local oil producers is upset over changes to the city of L.A.’s drilling permit regulations and wants those changes rolled back.

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High-End Stores Face Rocky Road

DEVELOPMENT: Repairs to street could hinder access to Golden Triangle shops.

Beverly Hills shop owners fear doing poorly during road reconstruction near a ritzy retail strip.

L.A. City Economy Showing Broad, Robust Growth

The city of Los Angeles economy saw broad-based, steady growth last year, according to a report to be released this morning from Beacon Economics for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Opponents Kick Off Campaign Against Initiative to Rein in Mega Developments

Representatives from business, affordable housing and labor groups officially launched their campaign Monday against an initiative on the March Los Angeles city ballot measure that would place a two-year moratorium on major development projects and place permanent restrictions on mega-developments.

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L.A. City Controller Runs Numbers by Business

GOVERNMENT: Open data, lawsuit reduction among Ron Galperin’s priorities.

City Controller Ron Galperin talks on how Los Angeles has greeted business-friendly policies.

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Bag Company Command Packaging Got Early Jump on Recycled Plastic

Ban Wagon

Plastic bag maker moved early to get a handle on recycled content requirements.

L.A. Council Places Building Moratorium Initiative on March Ballot

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday voted to place on the March ballot an initiative from neighborhood anti-development activists that would impose a two-year moratorium on most major building projects and sharply curtail major projects going forward.

Incubator Hopes to Sow Field of Green Ventures

TECHNOLOGY: Campus to offer 60,000 square feet to eco-conscious businesses.

New incubator hopes to egg on green businesses.

Teslas Rev Up Driving Service

MotEV sees high-end cars as means to make inroads with eco-conscious crowd.

Driving firm MotEV has charged into the sector looking to tap positive buzz for Tesla’s electric vehicles.

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Smoked Out?

Legal weed could test companies’ hiring policies

Legalized recreational weed could put employers’ drug policies to the test.

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Nine Local Cities Named Finalists for Most Business-Friendly City Award

Nine cities in Los Angeles County have been named as finalists for the most business-friendly award to be handed out this fall by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

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Broad Museum Smashes Attendance Projections in First Year

Downtown’s Broad Museum of Contemporary Art had a banner inaugural year, drawing in more than 820,000 visitors, according to figures the museum released Tuesday.

Signatures Submitted for Measure for March Ballot; Another Measure Certified

Medical marijuana dispensary owners submitted more than 100,000 signatures Monday in their bid to place a measure on the Los Angeles city ballot in March to give the 135 dispensaries in operation before a 2007 moratorium priority in bidding for dispensary licenses.

Garcetti Names Administrator to Oversee Local Oil Operations

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday named the city’s first-ever oil administrator to regulate the safety of oil operations within the city.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 4.9 Percent in August

L.A. County’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.9 percent in August even as employer payrolls grew, state figures released Friday showed.

Signs of Battle On Billboards

ADVERTISING: Summit fears cutback cuts out smaller firms.

Summit Media sees a city of L.A. plan for more digital billboards as a bad sign for small firms.

L.A. Chamber: Yes on Tobacco Tax; No on Pot

POLITICS: Organization neutral on keeping higher levy rates on high income.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce this month took positions on several measures on the November ballot, most notably in support of a tobacco tax but opposing marijuana legalization.

L.A. Promises Free Year of Community College Tuition for LAUSD Graduates

L.A. city officials launched a program Wednesday to guarantee all high school graduates within the Los Angeles Unified School District at least one free year of tuition-free community college education.

SoCal Gas CEO to be Replaced; Utility Agrees to Pay $4M in Penalties for Leak

Just hours after agreeing to pay $4 million in penalties for the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak, SoCal Gas’ parent company announced the utility’s chief executive is being replaced as part of a major corporate shakeup.

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Rams to Cover Cost of Police, City Services for Home Games

The Los Angeles Rams reached an agreement with Los Angeles city officials to pay for the cost of police and other city services for home games, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday.

L.A. Employers to Increase Hiring in Third Quarter

More LA employers say they plan to add workers during the fourth quarter, but more also plan to reduce payrolls in the third quarter, according to a survey to be released Tuesday from Manpower Inc.

Survey Maps Out Business Cities

Brand, livability help land Los Angeles at No. 13; top performer remains London.

Study of globe’s top business cities puts Los Angeles on the map at No. 13 out of 30.

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Business Groups Take Bruising From State Bills

POLITICS: Measures seen as ‘job killers’ include wage hike, farm overtime.

Business groups had a hit-and-miss session in laying to rest state “job killer” bills.

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Cities Mull Means to Smoke Out Tax Revenue From Recreational Weed

Measure offers two streams: state fund for law enforcement as well as additional local business levies

Some local cities are looking to potential pot taxes to blunt lingering budget deficits.

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Nontraditional Gets Workout

EMPLOYMENT: L.A. County fertile field for self-employed.

Entertainment and shipping industries have boosted Los Angeles as a home to nontraditional jobs.

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Development Measure Yet to Find Poll Position

REAL ESTATE: Battle over restrictive initiative yields rival claims of support.

The L.A. city election might not be until March, but both sides of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative battle have released polls showing completely opposite results.

Modest Salary Raises on Tap for Next Year

Looking for a big raise or to jump ship for a much higher-paying position next year? Not likely to happen, according to a survey released this week from Robert Half International.

Business Accelerator to Open In Watts

Watts is slated to get its first-ever business accelerator under plans announced Tuesday by the Valley Economic Development Center and a local community development organization.

Home-Sharing Disturbs Hotels

Hoteliers and unions team up over their reservations about home-sharing businesses.

Mayor Announces City Exceeding Targeted Pace for Housing Permits

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday announced that the city has issued permits for 40,800 new housing units since he took office in July 2013, putting the city ahead of his target for 100,000 new units permitted by mid-2021.

Neighborhood Integrity Initiative Submits Signatures for Ballot Measure

Backers of an initiative to curb mega-developments in Los Angeles turned in nearly 104,000 signatures to the city clerk’s office Wednesday, 67 percent more than the 62,000 needed to place the measure on next March’s ballot.

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Pot Fundraiser Cancelled After LAPD Objects

The groups behind a scheduled fundraiser in Hollywood this past weekend for the medical marijuana industry cancelled the event after receiving word from the Los Angeles Police Department that the event was regarded as unlawful.

Setback in Cards With Rule Shift

The long-running battle between local card rooms and tribal gaming casinos has a new skirmish line: a change in an obscure state rule that could cost the local card rooms millions of dollars in revenue each year.

Los Angeles Unemployment Falls Despite Drop in Payrolls

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in July, its lowest level in nearly 10 years, despite a sharp seasonal drop in employer payrolls, state figures released Friday show.

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Air District Works to Iron Out Rule on Forging

METALS: Officials hope to reduce odor production in Paramount, other cities.

After years of complaints by residents about odors in Paramount and other southeast Los Angeles County cities, the South Coast Air Quality Management District identified the likely source as metal forging facilities and has begun developing a rule to clamp down on emissions from these plants.

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Big Payoffs No Longer Safe Bet for Casinos

GAMBLING: Setback in cards with rule shift.

Some card rooms think they are getting a raw deal with a new state stance on third-party banking.

Los Angeles Water and Power Department COO Appointed as Interim General Manager

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power chief operating officer David Wright was appointed the agency’s interim general manager Tuesday by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. He replaces Marcie Edwards, who announced her resignation earlier this month.

Light Maker Takes Note Of Music Stands

LEDtronics, orchestra working in concert to develop bright idea.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has taken a shine to LEDtronics’ lights for music stands.

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A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

POLITICS: Pot fundraiser’s organizers hope to turn up heat on L.A. city officials.

Call it a pot fundraiser – not to buy weed but to raise money to wield more clout at City Hall.

CIT Gives $100,000 to Latino Chamber of Commerce for Small Business Programs

CIT, parent of OneWest Bank of Irvine, announced Monday that it’s providing $100,000 to the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce for technical assistance to small businesses.

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A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

ENERGY: Breitburn brass could receive millions from bankruptcy judge.

Executives at Breitburn Energy Partners, an L.A. oil and gas exploration partnership that filed for bankruptcy in May, could receive tens of millions of dollars in bonuses under a proposal to be considered in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Aug. 18.

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Business Groups Put ‘Job Killers’ in Cross Hairs

POLITICS: Legislation to extend cap-trade program among bills drawing fire.

Business groups are targeting roughly a dozen key bills still remaining in Sacramento during the closing weeks of the legislative session.

Strike Likely Averted as Grocery Workers Reach Deal

Union officials for local grocery workers announced Thursday afternoon that they had reached a tentative contract deal with Ralphs, Vons and Albertson’s supermarkets, likely averting a strike that could have begun next week. The deal is subject to a vote of rank-and-file union workers on Monday.

U.S. EPA Fines Two Local Operations for Hazardous Waste Storage Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced settlements with two Southern California facilities for improper handling of hazardous waste.

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Water Company Faces Double Trouble in Court

UTILITY: American States fights to retain subsidiary; pushes for rate increase.

Two looming legal decisions for its subsidiaries could sink business for American States Water.

Shoring Up

Business improvement district centered on Venice Boardwalk gains preliminary OK

Venice Boardwalk businesses’ bid for a business improvement district moves forward.

Downtown Booster Looks to Uproot Park Levy

TAXES: Group says switch to square-foot assessment will hurt property owners.

The Central City Association, a downtown business group, is opposing a parcel tax for parks that Los Angeles County supervisors are poised this week to place on the November ballot.


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