Azusa and Whittier were chosen as the most business-friendly cities in the county for 2018 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., the nonprofit announced late Nov. 8.

Azusa won for the most business-friendly city with a population under 50,000 and Whittier won for the city with a population over 50,000. The announcement came at the LAEDC’s annual awards gala held at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown.

In evaluating L.A. County cities for these awards, the LAEDC evaluates their commitment to economic development, their efforts to aid business entry, expansion and retention, their business tax rates and fee structures and their use of economic incentives, among other things.

“This year’s…awardees are shining examples of government leaders committed to helping employers create good jobs that help raise standards of living in their communities and across our region,” Bill Allen, the LAEDC’s chief executive, said in the announcement.

Azusa beat out four other finalists in the small city category: Duarte, Monrovia, San Gabriel and Santa Fe Springs. Whittier won over two other finalists in the large city category: Inglewood and Rosemead.

Last year, Arcadia won in the small city category and Downey won in the large city category.

In addition to handing out the most business-friendly city awards, the LAEDC on Nov. 8 also awarded corporate honoree status to American Airlines for its contributions to the regional economy through the growth of its operations at Los Angeles International Airport.

California Polytechnic University at Pomona received the LAEDC’s educational honoree award for its efforts to educate economically disadvantaged students. And producer and digital media pioneer Beatriz Acevedo won the LAEDC’s individual honoree award for her authentic depictions of Latinos in media.

Education, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.