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Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Best Wishes, Three Challenges for New Year

This is the final issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s weekly edition for 2017.

Paid subscribers can expect to receive our annual Book of Lists next week.

Then it’s on to 2018.

The Business Journal has offered this space as a public square of sorts over the past year, with room to critique or challenge the community of business we cover, as well as various segments of society that benefit, frustrate, supply, rely upon or otherwise intersect with the commercial sector.

We also aim to celebrate the community of business and the rest of the market in this space when appropriate – and the cusp of a new year is an appropriate time for such cheer.

We’ll combine the two perspectives in this note – a to-do list doubling as a ray of optimism.

We offer three key challenges that must be met if Los Angeles’ community of business wants to continue to grow in a healthy manner.

We also note three reasons the challenges can be met.

Let’s start with an acknowledgment that our region has deeply rooted socioeconomic problems to face on homelessness – but also the good fortune of near universal agreement on the need to go from talk to action.

Rising rents and prices also threaten to shrink the vital middle class of our marketplace. Yet it’s encouraging that the problem seems to be drawing a consensus of thinkers in the community of business and beyond. Now those thinkers must become doers and implement strategies and tactics to balance market-based incentives, environmental standards, community concerns and the aspirations of young adults and other new entrants to the housing market.

Both homelessness and the middle-class housing crunch hold the potential to compound the challenges of public safety – there are a lot of “broken windows” in our neighborhoods these days.

The good news is that the turnaround trend that brought crime to historic lows here for much of this young century has only recently begun to show signs of slipping the other way. Lawfulness has had the clear upper hand in most of our neighborhoods for some time, and that’s a solid basis for regaining a grip on our sense of civic standards.

Three challenges—and three reasons to believe this marketplace can meet each one of them.

Happy New Year to all – and just think how much happier it will be a year from now if there’s genuine progress on these challenges by then.

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