Los Angeles Business Journal

Long Beach Chamber Wants Say in Pay-Raise Push

GOVERNMENT: Helping small businesses cope with increase among concerns.

Recognizing that Long Beach elected officials will likely enact an increase in the minimum wage in coming months, the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping to negotiate a deal that would make a raise more palatable to businesses in the city rather than opposing a wage hike outright.

Petroleum Plan Fuels Pushback

ENERGY: Oil, trucking firms rip state proposal to reduce use.

Oil and transportation companies hope to drive off a state measure to cut vehicles’ petroleum use by 50 percent.

County Unemployment Falls Amid Slight Jobs Gain

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell in June to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in May following a modest gain in employer payrolls, state figures released Friday show.

City Sends Up Smoke Signals on Tougher Rules

TOBACCO: L.A. mulls new penalties for cig sales to minors, in-shop smoking

Local tobacco retailers and smoke lounges are warily eyeing the rollout by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer of tougher enforcement standards aimed at preventing sales of tobacco products to minors and protecting workers from secondhand smoke.

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Stores Look to Take Back Streets

REGULATION: Owners hope to limit legalization of rival vendors.

Brick-and-mortar shops hope to curb a push in the city of Los Angeles to legalize street vending.

24 Years Later, Collapsed Insurer Case Settled

The final chapter appears to have closed in the quarter-century battle resulting from the collapse of Los Angeles insurance company Executive Life and an ensuing legal scuffle that stretched from Sacramento to Paris.

Beverly Hills Chamber Head Leaves for WeHo Post

Alexander Stettinski, executive director of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, announced his resignation on Tuesday to to become vice president of operations and strategic planning with the neighboring Visit West Hollywood.

Healthy Boosts From Chinese Connections

For Bob Parker, life has taken some dramatic turns recently.

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Landlords See No Room for Rent-Control Changes

REAL ESTATE: City of L.A. proposals could kill creation of more units.

City of L.A. officials weigh rent-control rules that could open door to more burdens for landlords.

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Business Burdens Head Up; Firms, Jobs Head Out

COMMERCE: Survey rates most L.A. cities as high cost.

Rising costs push more than half of L.A. cities into business-unfriendly territory, survey reports.

County Unemployment Holds Steady Amid Modest Job Gains

L.A. County’s unemployment rate was unchanged in May at 7.6 percent amid modest job gains that left the county just short of its all-time payroll jobs peak, state figures released Friday show.

Twenty In Their 20s: Abhi Eswarappa

From the creator of a social media platform to the founder of a bikini company, the Business Journal turns the spotlight on 20 young entrepreneurs who have gotten a jump on the business world.

Music Class Has It Made With Shades

Instructor says color code helps notes stick better with students.

Conservatory of Performing Arts helps students scale musical notes with a color-coded system.

County Unemployment Holds Steady Amid Modest Job Gains

L.A. County’s unemployment rate was unchanged in April at 7.6 percent amid modest job gains that left the county just short of its all-time payroll jobs peak, state figures released Friday show.

Looming Wage Hike Tamps Down Business Confidence

L.A. area businesses are optimistic about business conditions this year and plan to sharply ramp up capital spending, according to a survey to be released today from the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed.

Business Groups Hope to Work With City Hall Vet

POLITICS: Carolyn Ramsay piles up endorsments in race for seat on City Council.

Business groups are overwhelmingly supporting City Hall veteran Carolyn Ramsay in this week’s election to replace Tom LaBonge on the Los Angeles City Council.

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Hacked Off

LAX-dependent cabbies hem in area businesses

LAX-area businesses say cabbies waiting for airport pickups are driving off customers.

Council Separates Paid Time Off from Minimum Wage Hike Plan

Responding to an outcry from local business groups and from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council leaders late on Friday agreed to separate a controversial paid time off mandate from the minimum wage hike it plans to consider next week.

Paid Time Off Part of Minimum Wage Proposal?

The minimum wage hike proposal approved by an L.A. City Council committee this week might require employers to pay minimum wage workers for time off.

Paramount Firm Pays $142,000 Penalty for Waste Violations

Anaplex Corp. of Paramount has agreed to pay $142,000 to settle allegations that the plating company had violated hazardous waste rules, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced late Thursday.

Wage Hike Moves Forward, Gives Businesses More Time

A Los Angeles City Council Committee on Wednesday voted to hike the citywide minimum wage to $15 an hour, but also to give more time for businesses to comply.

Carsharing Coming to a Parking Meter Near You?

Carsharing could soon become much more common in Los Angeles – as common as parking meters, in fact.

Plumber Aims To Seal Deals With Valves

Cesar Balbin plugs toilet flappers as way to cut water usage.

Reliance Home Services takes the plunger on giving away toilet flappers to win customers.

Area Advocate Discusses 25 Years in Downtown

NONPROFIT: Carol Schatz praises housing, restaurants; homelessness still concern.

Carol Schatz talks downtown L.A.’s revival during her 25 years at Central City Association.

Ex-Chief Exec Looks to Steer Retailer Into Sale

INTERNET: Mehran Nia says U.S. Auto Parts too small to be publicly held.

Co-founder and ex-CEO of U.S. Auto Parts looks to drive the online retailer into a sale.

Insurance Commissioner Urges Work Comp Rate Cut

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Friday announced he has recommended a 10 percent cut in the workers’ comp premium rate that insurers charge employers, the first such recommended cut in four years.

L.A. Restaurateurs Want Tips to Count Toward Minimum Wage

As Los Angeles city officials consider hiking the minimum wage to as much as $15.25 an hour, local restaurant owners on Monday proposed a lower wage level for servers who receive tips.

Java Maker Follows Pot of Gold to Lone Star State

COFFEE: Incentives light fire under Farmer Bros. to ditch L.A. for Dallas.

Texas brews up a range of incentives to spur Farmer Bros.’ relocation to the Lone Star State.

California Hopes Incentives Work to Create Jobs

DEVELOPMENT: State to hand out $69 million in tax credits to 94 companies.

The headlines are full of other states offering incentives for local companies to set up shop there, either by moving entirely or expanding.

LAX’s Slurpee Runneth Over

International terminal lands only 7-Eleven store inside airport in United States.

LAX looks to have more in store for international travelers with the first 7-Eleven in a U.S. airport.

Dad Goes to Bat for Fairness

Andrew Kugler just wanted to coach his daughter in a softball league. He never expected it would turn into a legal fight.

Judge Halts Millennium Hollywood Project

A state judge on Thursday halted plans for two massive and controversial skyscrapers in Hollywood, ruling that the city of Los Angeles failed to adequately assess the $1 billion project’s traffic and neighborhood impacts.

Anonymous Blogger Kicks Sand at Desert Aquifer

WATER: Cadiz’s shares hit by claims that pipeline plan heading for failure.

Anonymous blogger sinks stock of Cadiz on claims its desert aquifer plan is doomed to fail.

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Rate Runoff

Building owners look to tap tenants for water bills

Drought concerns open the door for landlords of older buildings to pass bills on to tenants.

San Gabriel Valley Growth to Continue

The San Gabriel Valley economy will continue its robust growth this year, adding more than 10,000 jobs and increasing total payrolls by $1.2 billion, according to an economic forecast to be released Tuesday morning from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Union Group Chief to Wage Pay-Hike Campaign

POLITICS: Rusty Hicks of labor federation backs bigger increase than L.A. mayor’s.

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s new chief, Rusty Hicks, says a minimum-wage hike will pay off in more jobs.

Oil Firms Pumped Up to Fight Ban on Fracking

ENERGY: Industry groups ready to file suit if city of L.A. proposal goes through.

Oil industry opposition to a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the city of Los Angeles has ramped up, as trade groups have threatened to sue if such a ban is enacted.

City Might Run Greek Theatre

In the latest twist in the saga of who will get to operate the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, a city commission on Wednesday voted to not extend its contract with operator Nederlander Concernts and to instead turn over operation of the venue to the city.

Buses, Retailers Look for Break

TOURISM: Shops fear drop-off if Beverly Hills relocates stops.

Rodeo Drive businesses fear relocation of tour bus loading zones risks driving off potential customers.

20,000 Green Jobs Among Garcetti’s Environmental Goals

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday announced an ambitious plan to make the city more environmentally sustainable and to create 15,000 more “green” jobs by 2017.

Forecast: L.A. Economy to Continue Strong Growth This Year

The Los Angeles County economy will continue its strong growth this year and beyond, according to a forecast to be released this morning from Loyola Marymount University and Beacon Economics.

Business Groups Battle Bill on Schedule Changes

RETAIL: State lawmaker pushes penalties for chains that don’t provide notice.

It’s shaping up as one of the biggest battles between business and labor in Sacramento this year: AB 357, brought by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, would enact a “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” modeled on a law recently passed in San Francisco.

Oil Company Finds Backer but Investors Back Off

ENERGY: BreitBurn’s plan to cut distribution trumps $1 billion investment.

$1 billion investment in BreitBurn fails to light a fire under shares of the oil and gas company.

Dockworkers to Vote on Port Labor Deal

A longshore union caucus voted Friday to recommend approval of the West Coast port labor agreement reached in February, sending the deal on to rank-and-file union members for a vote next month.

BreitBurn Secures $1 Billion Investment, Cuts Shareholder Distribution

BreitBurn Energy Partners, the debt-strapped Los Angeles oil partnership, has obtained $1 billion in financing from EIG Global Energy Partners of Washington D.C., the company announced late Sunday.

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High on Dry

LANDSCAPING: Sales of drought-resistant plants blossom at nurseries with help from government subsidies to cut back on grass.

Drought-resistant plants become hot items at nurseries, boosted by government subsidies to trim lawn space.

Passing Propane Torch

When Julie Johnson entered the propane business founded by her father 30 years ago, she stood out as one of the few women in a male-dominated industry. And it was her father who had to mentor her so she could take over one day, making sure the men in the industry respected her.

Briefs: Medbox Climbs, LMU Names New President, Kirk Douglas Donates

Medbox Climbs Medbox Inc. shares jumped 17 percent on Friday to $1.65 after the West Hollywood marijuana dispensing firm filed its first annual report and first regulatory filing since restating previous years’ financials.

Verengo Co-Founders Exit Leadership Posts; Marketing Exec New CEO

The co-founders of Torrance solar panel installer Verengo Solar are leaving their leadership posts as a tech marketing executive has been named as the new chief executive, the company announced Wednesday.

USC Receives $50 Million Donation from Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist for Brain Research Center

Silicon Valley venture capitalist and longtime USC benefactor Mark Stevens has donated another $50 million to the university for a brain research institute, USC officials were set to announce Wednesday.

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