Los Angeles Business Journal

Card Clubs Bet On Online Bill

GAMBLING: Casinos expect legal Internet poker to boost draw.

Local card clubs wager that they will draw more players if California OKs online poker.

Business, Labor Reports Not on Same Wage Page

POLITICS: Groups’ studies look at impact of different proposed pay increases.

When local business and labor groups came out with their respective studies on the impacts of hiking L.A.’s minimum wage last week, the fact that they came to different conclusions – business opposing and labor supporting – was not surprising.

L.A. Unemployment Drops Amid Broad Job Gains

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in February as the county added 25,000 jobs across almost every industry, according to state figures released Friday.

City Study Backs Wage Hike; Biz, Labor Release Dueling Studies

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from an earlier version. Hiking L.A.’s minimum wage would bring more benefits than costs to both Los Angeles and the region, according to a long-awaited and controversial study released Thursday afternoon.

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Wage Hikes May Hit Tipping Point

DINING: State bill would cap pay for gratuity-receiving employees.

State bill would let restaurants skip out on paying increased minimum wages to tipped workers.

Coda Energy Names CEO

Monrovia energy storage company Coda Energy on Wednesday named veteran technology executive Paul Detering as the company’s first chief executive following its emergence from bankruptcy in 2013.

Mercury Agrees to $1 Million Fine to Settle Underwriting Practices Case

Mercury Insurance has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to settle a long-running case involving its underwriting practices, state Insurance Commissioner David Jones announced Tuesday.

California Resources Chooses Chatsworth for Headquarters

California Resources Corp., the recent spinoff from Occidental Petroleum Corp., is moving its headquarters to Chatsworth from Westwood, the company announced Monday.

Survey: L.A. Employers to Ramp Up Hiring Plans in Second Quarter

LA employers plan to hire at a solid pace during the second quarter, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by Manpower Inc.

Business Groups Rack Up Victories at Ballot Box

POLITICS: L.A. Chamber’s endorsements for measures, candidates go 13-2.

Local business groups fared pretty well by backing the winners in last week’s municipal elections.

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Piling It On

OhCal Foods rides acquisition to No. 1 in Subway franchising

Acquisition delivers the Subway franchise crown to OhCal Foods – and potentially a lot more bread.

Local Unemployment Rate Drops, More Jobs in County

Los Angeles County’s jobless rate dipped below 8 percent in January for the first time in nearly six years, according to state figures released Friday.

Garcetti Names Film Liaison; Announces Steps to Expedite Filming

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday named Kevin James as film liaison and announced several steps to expedite filming permits within the city.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Andrew Stalbow

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

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Business Group Walks on Wage

POLITICS: Organization bucks peers’ unity against pay hike.

Los Angeles Business Council works against other business groups with its support of a minimum-wage hike.

Investors Line Up for Firm’s Online Ad Exchange

INTERNET: Strong quarter maintains winning streak for Rubicon Project.

Online ad exchange operator Rubicon Project clicks with Wall Street after strong quarter.

State Plastic Bag Ban Put on Hold as Ballot Referendum Qualifies

Plastic bag manufacturers and other opponents of a statewide ban on plastic bags have qualified a referendum for the November 2016 ballot, thereby putting the ban on hold, the California Secretary of State’s office said Tuesday.

Hearing Execs Speak Volumes on Trip

Steven Sawalich, senior director of global media and philanthropy at Starkey Hearing Foundation in Playa Vista, has traveled to 75 countries during his time at the non-profit, which delivers hearing aids to people in need.

Business Groups Provide Election Endorsements

POLITICS: Jose Huizar earns consensus support for Los Angeles City Council.

Believe it or not, next Tuesday, March 3, is Election Day in Los Angeles and 28 other cities around Los Angeles County.

Hoteliers See More Room for Incentives to Build

DEVELOPMENT: Business leaders say L.A.’s moves won’t bring projects to city.

Hotel execs welcome city of L.A.’s incentives but say they won’t inspire new projects to check in.

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Tight Market

Small-lot homes boom despite boos from neighbors

Small-lot homes have taken off in a big way, aided by cost savings versus condos and townhomes.

L.A. Economy to Grow, See Record Employment Level this Year

The good times should continue to roll for the local economy.

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New Chamber Chair Not Worked Up About Labor

Politics: William Caswell talks minimum-wage hikes, pace of business reform.

Kaiser Permanente’s William Caswell talks how he will nurse business goals as chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Garcetti Signs Law Reducing Top Business Tax Rates

Delivering some relief to local businesses, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday signed into law a reduction in the top rates businesses pay in gross-receipts taxes to the city.

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DWP Powers Up Solar Company

ENERGY: PermaCity’s business heats up with multibuilding deal.

Solar panel installer PermaCity raises the roof with multibuilding Department of Water & Power contract.

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L.A. Scrambles to Defend Air Base

POLITICS: Lawmakers, business leaders fear facility in cross hairs.

Elected officials and business leaders link arms to guard Los Angeles Air Force Base from closure.

Air Board Upholds Approval of Carson Refinery Upgrade

Local air regulators on Friday upheld their approval of a major refinery upgrade in Carson, despite vociferous community and environmental opposition.

San Gabriel Valley Partnership Launches Marketing Website

The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership announced Monday the launch of a new regional economic development website aimed at companies considering relocating or expanding in the San Gabriel Valley.

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Tax on Services May Take Toll

Politics: Homebuyers face new costs under state proposal.

State lawmaker’s plan to extend the sales tax to services could particularly squeeze first-time homebuyers.

Downtown Businesses Fined for Selling Tainted Jewelry

State regulators announced Thursday they have levied more than $200,000 in penalties against four downtown retailers for selling jewelry tainted with lead and other toxic metals.

State Cites Vernon Exide Plant for Waste Violations

State regulators on Wednesday issued eight violations of state hazardous waste laws against Exide Technologies’ battery recycling plant in Vernon.

Injunction Seeks to Block L.A. From Implementing Hotel Wage Law

Two trade groups representing large hotels in Los Angeles announced they have filed for a preliminary injunction to block the city from implementing its hotel wage hike until their lawsuit against the city is resolved.

California Resources Drops Massive Carson Oil Drilling Plan

California Resources Corp. announced Monday that it has dropped plans for a major drilling project in Carson because of low oil prices.

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Whole New Drill

ENERGY: Drop in oil prices has left some oil-related businesses in hole.

Steep drop in prices is not going well for oil-related businesses.

Chilly Reception for Packers Fan

Donald Bizub is such an avid Green Bay Packers football fan that he purposefully seeks out advisory clients in cities where the Packers will be playing in a given season.

Businesses See New Notices as Hazardous to Health

CHEMICALS: Coalition says proposed changes to state rules will spur lawsuits.

State regulators have proposed new rules for posting toxic chemical warning notices in workplaces and other public places, stirring opposition from a coalition of chemical industry and business groups that contend the rules will spur a new round of frivolous lawsuits.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Dips Below 8 Percent for First Time in Six Years

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in December, the first time it was below 8 percent since mid-2008, state figures released Friday show.

Model Guest Plans Stay at Ocean Liner

Queen Mary to host toymaker’s miniature take on fabled ship.

Model of the Queen Mary prepares to drop anchor at its life-size inspiration in Long Beach.

Stilled Drilling Rigs Don’t Work for Oil Investors

energy: Shares tumble after California Resources plans production cutbacks.

Report of idled derricks doesn’t sit well with investors in California Resources Corp.

Oil Company Drops Plan to Expand Drilling in South L.A.

Oil company Freeport McMoran is dropping its controversial plan to expand its drilling operation near USC, blaming the recent oil price collapse.

BizFed Opposes L.A. Minimum Wage Hike, Berkeley Study

The Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed, on Wednesday formally announced its opposition to proposals to hike the minimum wage in the city of Los Angeles to at least $13.25 an hour.

Mercury Insurance Hit With $27.5 Million Fine Over Broker Fees

State Insurance Commissioner David Jones on Monday ordered Mercury Insurance to pay a $27.5 million fine for charging policyholders unauthorized broker fees.

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Positive Signs For Billboards

ADVERTISing: City of L.A. may flatout forgive scofflaws.

ADVERTISING: City of Los Angeles appears ready to sign off on giving a pass to rule-breaking billboards.

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Breitburn Halves Distributions to Shareholders Amid Oil Price Collapse

Rocked by the oil price crash and its own plummeting stock price, Breitburn Energy Partners has sliced its distributions to shareholders by just over 50 percent.

Developers Fight Malibu Measure with Federal Lawsuit

Two property developers on Monday filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Malibu to block a ballot measure voters approved in November to limit chain stores and large commercial projects.

Buyout Talk Gives Shot in Arm to Drug Developer

BIOTECH: Arrowhead’s RNA treatment reportedly draws Gilead’s attention.

Arrowhead Research moves into investors’ bull’s-eye on talk of an acquisition by a larger competitor.

Star a Deal at Any Price

Filming the new low-budget movie “The Humbling” turned out to be a humbling experience for movie superstar Al Pacino.

Biomed Project Gets New Life

DEVELOPMENT: Supervisor switch may power up park plan.

New Eastside county supervisor may provide a shot in the arm for biomedical park project.

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Hotels Say Wage Law Works in Favor of Labor

HOSPITALITY: Groups claim union exemption undercuts bargaining by businesses.

Hotel owners say a city of L.A. wage ordinance makes too much room for union organizing.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady Despite Job Gains

The California Employment Development Department reported that Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 8 percent last month as the number of residents reporting they were working barely budged.

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