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Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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LABJ Insider: LA Reopens for Business

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming …

Ok, so that wasn’t the exact message from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Cal/OSHA, or the other leaders and agencies involved in last week’s Great Reopening.

But that seems to be the sentiment in many quarters around town. From a sold-out Dodger Stadium to packed-out bars and restaurants, Los Angeles businesses and consumers appear mostly ready to embrace a return to normalcy just as summer arrives.

Sure, there’s still some confusion and uneasiness, particularly around mask rules and public Covid-19 etiquette, but those things should get worked out in coming weeks.

There’s also still work to be done to get more shots into arms. But during this phase of the pandemic be thankful that you live in California, a pace-setting state when it comes to vaccine education and awareness. Remember, the economy doesn’t fulfill those increasingly prevalent Roaring ’20s predictions if Covid keeps hanging around.

As for when and how workers begin to return to offices and other workplaces, that will take some more doing. Check out this week’s cover story by Meghann M. Cuniff on the many ways local law firms are trying to help companies untangle the complexities of what businesses should and shouldn’t do for back-to-work planning.

There’s another page 1 piece to recommend this week: a thorough story by Hannah Madans that gives a reality check to all those fears of mass evictions by landlords when the state’s eviction moratorium expires.

The coming months won’t be without bumps in the road, of course, and we may still suffer setbacks on the path to recovery, but the Business Journal will continue to provide ongoing pandemic insight and guidance for our readers as we have throughout the past 15-plus months.

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Santa Monica-based Rand Corp. just added a heavy hitter. Janet Napolitano — a former secretary of Homeland Security, governor of Arizona and University of California president — has joined Rand’s board of trustees.

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Rufus Hankey, chairman of Hancock Park-based software firm Nowcom and son of longtime Wealthiest Angelenos club member Don Hankey, has reportedly picked up the nearly 2-acre Beverly Hills estate owned by late Viacom founder and billionaire Sumner Redstone. The price? A tidy $27 million.

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Last week’s announcement from SoFi Stadium just made a mid-level bowl game a bit more interesting. In late December, SoFi will play host to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, an actual college football bowl game — we double-checked — pitting a Pac-12 Conference team against a Mountain West Conference team. It’s not exactly the Rose Bowl, but it will be the first college football game at SoFi and is likely the first bowl game named after a person — and certainly the first named for a late-night TV host.

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Ulrich Kranz, who recently stepped down as chief executive of Canoo Inc., the Torrance-based electric vehicle-maker he co-founded, has been hired by Apple Inc. Kranz previously spent 30 years as a senior executive at BMW.

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