The complexity of navigating across Web pages can tax even the most resourceful among us.


Last year, during the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Access City Hall event, one chamber member complained that even though he has a master's degree and fluency in several languages, it still took him several hours to locate a downloadable business tax registration form on the city of L.A.'s Web site.

So, this month, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a one-stop Web site for businesses in L.A., called Los Angeles Business Solutions. The site consolidates all of the business-related portals on the city's Internet site. The address is www.business.lacity.org.

"Making Los Angeles business-friendly is a top priority," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "Business owners don't necessarily work 9 to 5 and they don't have time to drive around town picking up forms. We're making it easier so that business owners can focus on managing and growing their business."

Once at the site, entrepreneurs looking to launch an enterprise can link to "Ten Key Steps to Starting a Business." There are also links to file business taxes, film permits, find city contracts to bid on, or find zoning and planning information for a specific address.

A business owner can also find out what local, state and federal incentives they might be eligible for. And the site has links to the mayor's Business Team and the office of international trade.

The L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed the site. A chamber statement said that many of its members had previously expressed frustrations with no centralized location for business licensing, contracting and tax information.

Revised Diesel Rules

After taking flak from the state's trucking industry in recent hearings, the California Air Resources Board last week announced its revised rule to curb diesel pollution from trucks and buses.

The rule still requires the owners of the estimated 300,000 pre-2007 diesel trucks that cross California roads and highways to bring their engines up to standards by 2021. But it eases up on near-term requirements to replace diesel engines at a cost of up to $20,000 each. Instead, truckers can install soot filters that cost about $10,000 apiece.

Air board staff estimates that would lower the overall cost of compliance to a range of $3.6 billion to $5.5 billion between 2010 and 2021.

However, the new rules are still not to the liking of the California Trucking Association and Driving Toward a Cleaner California, a coalition of business and agricultural associations.

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