Los Angeles Business Journal

L.A. County Unemployment Rate Drops to 5 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped to 5 percent in December amid modest job growth, state figures released Friday show.

Paramount Metal Plating Firm Suspends Operations to Comply with Air Agency Order

Paramount metal finishing company Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., Inc., has temporarily shut down all operations emitting the toxic compound hexavalent chromium to comply with an administrative order designed to protect public health, the South Coast Air Quality Management District announced late Thursday.

Hike in Federal Employment Insurance Arrives

TAXES: Companies must shell out as much as $168 per worker this month.

California employers, hit by an increase in the minimum wage this month, have another cost hike to worry about: an increase of as much as $168 per employee in the annual federal unemployment insurance tax, a sum that’s due at the end of the month.

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Homeless Hurdles

Projects hoping to tap city bonds mull risk with Measure S looming

Homeless housing plans could get hung up on Measure S’ restrictions on development.

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Residential Developer Tips Cap to City’s Assist

GOVERNMENT: Financial support eased creation of affordable housing units.

Developer Dan Rosenfeld says city financing can open doors for affordable housing projects.

L.A. Cleantech Incubator Founding CEO to Step Down

Fred Walti, the founding chief executive of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, is stepping down after six years at the helm, Los Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday.

LA 2024 Olympic Bid Committee Proposes Ceremonies at Coliseum and Inglewood’s NFL Stadium

The LA 2024 Olympic Bid Committee on Monday revealed it’s proposing to hold the opening and closing ceremonies for the Summer Games simultaneously at both the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the planned NFL Stadium in Inglewood.

Palladium Project Antagonists Dominate Fundraising in L.A. Development Ban Fight

The developer of the Hollywood Palladium Towers project and the project’s main opponent dominated the early fundraising on opposite sides of the Measure S anti-development campaign, according to finance reports filed late Friday.

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LAX Moves on $6 Billion Plan to Ease Transit In, Out of Airport

Getting Lift

LAX looks to get moving on transit improvements as the way is cleared for project bidding.

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2016 Container Traffic Up at Port of Los Angeles, Down at Port of Long Beach

For 2016, it was a tale of two ports when it comes to container cargo traffic. Last year, the Port of Los Angeles logged record container levels, with nearly 8.9 million container units passing through the port, up 8.5 percent over 2015 and eclipsing the 2006 record of nearly 8.5 million container units.

Councilmembers Propose Partial Ban on Campaign Contributions from Developers

A group of L.A. city councilmembers on Tuesday proposed banning contributions to council campaigns from developers with projects currently or recently before the city.

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LA 2024 Summer Olympics Would Generate $11 Billion in Local Economic Impact

If the 2024 Summer Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles, it would generate $11 billion in local economic impact, according to a study released Monday by the LA 2024 Olympic Organizing Committee.

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Lawsuit Aims to Uproot County Park Measure

TAXES: BizFed supports action against levy that hits developed properties.

A local business group is welcoming a legal challenge to a park tax measure approved by voters in November.

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Bicycle Vendors Hope to Harness Electric Buzz

TRANSPORTATION: Bike shops position once niche items to power up sales.

Local dealers are gearing up to ride an increased interest in electric bikes

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DWP, city of L.A. draft plan to speed water, power hook-ups.

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

Seth Manheimer sure wishes the “bill of rights” for customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power that will be voted on Jan. 17 had been around a year ago when he was trying to open a yoga studio in Hollywood.

Measure S Opponents Agree to Change Ballot Argument Language

Opponents of a ballot measure that would limit development in Los Angeles announced late Wednesday that they have reached an agreement to change the language of their ballot argument to settle a lawsuit brought last month by supporters.

Feds Announce $1.5 Billion Grant, Loan for Subway Extension to Century City

A federal grant and loan totaling nearly $1.5 billion to build the second phase of the Metro Purple Line subway extension from Beverly Hills to Century City was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Garcetti Unveils LADWP Customer Bill of Rights

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday unveiled a new customer Bill of Rights for the Department of Water and Power, including a guarantee of new business service connections within 10 business days.

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Pacific Waves

INVESTMENT: China scales L.A.’s economy, but to lesser degree than Japan in 1980s

Despite comparisons to Japan in the 1980s, Chinese money has yet to make the same impact.

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Lobby Issues In Hotel Vote

POLITICS: Campaign raised questions of foreign influence.

Companies’ pursuit of their business interests has stoked concern over foreign influence.

Gov. Brown Appoints Local Attorneys to Judicial Posts

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday named six new judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court, including three local private sector attorneys.

Supporters of Anti-Development Measure S File Lawsuit over Opponents' Ballot Argument

Proponents of Measure S, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative to limit development in Los Angeles that is on the March ballot, have filed a lawsuit alleging the ballot argument by opponents is full of false claims and exaggerations about the initiative’s economic impact.

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Aecom Joint Venture Team Wins San Onofre Decommissioning Project

A joint venture team including L.A.’s Aecom Technology Corp. has been awarded a contract for part of the decommissioning process of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear generating station in northern San Diego County.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Stays at 5.1 Percent Even as County Adds 22,000 Jobs

L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 percent in November even as 22,000 jobs were added to employer payrolls in the county, state figures released Friday show.

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Paying Up

REGULATION: Jan. 1 will kick off string of wage hikes across state.

The new year will clock in with new wage and hour laws for businesses across Los Angeles.

City of L.A. System Tosses Out Trash Businesses

WASTE: Some companies who lost out on franchise zones may shut down.

Some trash-hauling businesses say they have been kicked to the curb by the city of L.A.’s franchise zones.

Housing Moratorium Initiative Could Cost City 12,000 Jobs a Year and Thousands of Housing Units

If Measure S, the so-called “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative” establishing a two-year moratorium and other limits on major housing projects in Los Angeles were to pass in March, it would cost the city 12,000 jobs a year and deprive the city of thousands of additional housing units, according to a study released Thursday from initiative opponents.

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Port Traffic Up at Los Angeles, Down at Long Beach

The effects of the Hanjin shipping line bankruptcy continue to roil the county’s ports as cargo container traffic rose 24 percent last month to record levels at the Port of Los Angeles, but fell 14 percent at the Port of Long Beach, both ports reported Wednesday.

Alta Environmental Awarded $13.3 Million in Public Works Contracts

Long Beach environmental services firm Alta Environmental has been awarded two contracts worth $13.3 million from the Los Angeles County Public Works Department, the company announced Tuesday.

L.A. Council Committee Moves Street Vending Legalization Forward

After three years of consideration, the Los Angeles City Council took its first step toward legalizing street vending Monday afternoon.

L.A. Council Approves Huge Trash Franchise System

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved a multibillion-dollar waste hauling franchise system for commercial and multifamily properties.

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Aquifer Owner Looks to Trump to Line Up Pipe

WATER: Cadiz hopes new administration will prove friendlier to desert project.

Aquifer owner Cadiz hopes a GOP White House will warm to its desert pipeline project.

Cadiz Closes Public Offering; Raises $10.6 Million in Working Capital

Cadiz Inc., the Los Angeles company that’s trying to build a water storage and conveyance project in the Mojave Desert, announced Tuesday that it has closed a public offering that netted $10.6 million in working capital. Separately, the company announced a refinancing of $43 million in senior debt that extends the maturity date two years until September 2019.

Report: Steady Job Growth on Tap for L.A. County

Slow but steady will rule when it comes to job growth in L.A. County over the next six years, according to a forecast released Monday by Beacon Economics.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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.

SPECIAL REPORT: Lauren Gropper

Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

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Port of Long Beach Cargo Figures Drop Amid Fallout from Hanjin Bankruptcy

October cargo container volumes fell 6 percent at the Port of Long Beach compared to the same month last year, as fallout from the bankruptcy filing of Hanjin Shipping Co. continued. A total of 581,808 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) moved through docks last month, down 6.2 percent from October 2015 levels. Total imports dropped 3.7 percent from last October, to 296,711 TEUs. Export TEUs were down 1.2 percent from last October to 126,770 TEUs.

Business Defeats Santa Monica Building Measure

DEVELOPMENT: City of L.A. voters pass initiative on subsidized housing.

Defeat of Santa Monica measure may offer blueprint for business groups going forward.

Retained Ban Proves Boon, Bane to Bag Makers

POLITICS: Future of two companies may hinge on use of recycled plastic.

When 52 percent of California voters last week upheld a ban on plastic bags at supermarkets, they created some business winners and losers in Los Angeles.

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

AUTOMOTIVE: Car expo to ride popularity of SUVs, attraction of new tech.

SUVs, plug-in hybrids, and the increasing convergence of technology and vehicles will dominate the 109th annual LA Auto Show this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Sales Levies to Move Up With Transit Measure

TAXES: Some cities face losing retail business as rates reach double digits.

Approval of transit-supporting Measure M will drive some cities’ sales levies into double digits.

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