Supporting our Businesses

Construction worker

Are you interested in opening  a business in Los Angeles? Already have a business in Los Angeles and need more information? Please check out our quick summary of useful resources in the City and County of Los Angeles for businesses. 

LA Business Portal | LA City Economic & Workforce Development Department | Building and Safety Development Services Centers | Department of City Planning | Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Chambers of Commerce 

Economic & Workforce Development Department

The Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) goal is to steer economic development in a manner that yields thriving businesses, and creates job training and career opportunities for the City of Los Angeles. We work every day to deliver a strong and committed workforce, sustainable neighborhoods and profitable communities throughout Los Angeles.

EWDD Service Divisions

The Economic and Workforce Development Department has offices in downtown Los Angeles and throughout the City dedicated to serving City residents and businesses. We look for opportunities to help individuals, nonprofit agencies and businesses succeed, thereby improving the quality of life in Los Angeles.

Economic Development Division (EDD)

EDD offers over $600 million in direct and indirect financing and technical assistance programs that promote business growth and job creation in economically depressed areas of the City. There are an array of economic development and assistance measures developed specifically for the City's business community. Targeted business services are carried out in conjunction with the Mayor's Office of Economic Development and L.A.'s Business Team (the Mayor's special division in charge of business growth and retention in the City). Visit Business Services for more information.

Workforce Development Division (WDD)

The Workforce Development Division, working in cooperation with the Workforce investment Board (WIB), oversees Adult Employment Services offered through 18 WorkSource Centers and 13 YouthSource Centers. WorkSource Centers offer comprehensive employment services for adults. All programs are free to job seekers but some programs may require pre-qualification based on income. YouthSource Centers offer a variety of programs for young job seekers.

YouthSource & Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

The YouthSource and SYEP works to promote youth achievement by engaging families and community partners in creating opportunities for teenagers and young adults to reach their education, employment, and personal development goals. A partnership with over 30 local community-based organizations provides dedicated focus to vocational, educational, and career developing youth support systems. The Youth Employment Services are committed to developing the talents, capacities and successful future of the community's young people.

Key Contacts: 

Building and Safety Development Services Centers

The mission of the Department of Building and Safety is to protect the lives and safety of the residents and visitors of the City of Los Angeles and enhance the quality of life, housing, economic prosperity, and job creation citywide. Through a timely, cooperative, and transparent process, the Department advises, guides, and assists customers to achieve compliance with the building, zoning, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, disabled access, energy, and green codes and local and state laws to build safe, well, and fast. 

Counter Hours and Locations:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

San Pedro and South L.A. offices do not have Mechanical or Electrical Plan Check services and are closed between noon--1:00 pm daily.

San Pedro 638 S. Beacon St., Room 276, San Pedro, CA 90731

South L.A. 8475 S. Vermont Ave., 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90044

Department of City Planning

Community Plans Overview

Community Plans guide the physical development of neighborhoods by establishing the goals and policies for land use. The land use element is one of the state-required elements of a City’s General Plan and is required to be updated periodically. While the General Plan sets out a long-range vision and guide to future development, the 35 Community Plans provide the specific, neighborhood-level detail, relevant policies, and implementation strategies necessary to achieve the General Plan objectives.

Community Plans for Council District 15 Neighborhoods:

  • Harbor Gateway
  • Wilmington - Harbor City
  • Southeast Los Angeles
  • San Pedro

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Environmental Health conducts routine inspections and/or complaint investigations at commercial, residential and public sites throughout the County in an effort to protect the public’s health. Although our food and housing inspection programs are the most recognizable, the department also monitors X-ray machines and other radiologic devices, beaches and swimming pools, small water systems, sanitary landfills, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, theaters, laundries, and more. To inquire about our inspections, request general information, or make a complaint, please contact the appropriate program telephone number listed below.

Retail food facilities (restaurants, markets, bakeries, etc.) and food vending at farmers’ markets, swap meets, carnivals, fairs, and other temporary events. School cafeterias. Pet food stores. Customer Call Center (888) 700-9995

Foodborne illness. Wholesale, manufacturing and distributing establishments. Wholesale Food Safety Program (626) 430-5400

Food caterers. Cottage food operations. Specialized Food Services Program (626) 430-5421

Mobile food vehicles and carts (lunch trucks, produce trucks, ice cream trucks, etc.) Vehicle Inspection Program (626) 430-5500

 

Chambers of Commerce

San Pedro Chamber of Commerce

390 West 7th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731

Tel: 310-832-7272 | Fax: 310-832-0685

Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

544 North Avalon Blvd., Suite 104 Wilmington, CA 90744

Tel: 310-834-8586 | Fax: 310-834-8887

Harbor City / Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce

1400 W. 240th Street, Harbor City, CA 90710

Tel: 310-534-3143 | Fax: 310-534-3178

 

SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT: 

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

LA City Small Business Microloan Program: In light of the sweeping impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our small business community, the City of Los Angeles has responded swiftly and decisively to support our local, community businesses. The newly established Small Business Emergency Microloan Program now provides financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises in this time of acute need that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to visit the program's website. 

  • Business Source Centers: The LA BusinessSource Centers provide technical services to for-profit, existing micro-enterprises (five or fewer employees including the owner), small businesses (six to 500 employees), and residents of the City who aspire to be a small business owner.
  • Economic and Workforce Development Department’s (EWDD) nine BusinessSource Centers cover the following areas: Hollywood, The Harbor, South LA, East LA, Mid-City, Central/West, South Valley, North Valley, and West Valley.
  • The centers are staffed with experts to help business owners with the following:
    • Develop strategic plans
    • Navigate the bureaucracy of permits and regulations needed to open a business in Los Angeles
    • Assess their business needs and help serve their customers
    • Business owners will find resources to make their business grow at the City’s BusinessSource Centers.

 

FUNDING ASSISTANCE

  • Small Business Loan Program: The City’s Economic & Workforce Development Department grant loans from $50K to $500K to small businesses for which bank financing is not available. The processing takes around 2 months
  • Microloan Program: The City’s Economic & Workforce Development Department grant loans from $5K to $50K to businesses that fit the description of a “micro business”.
  • Section 108 Major Projects Program: The program is designed to provide gap-financing to major commercial and industrial real estate projects. The major goal of this program is to expand economic opportunities by providing jobs and maintaining or increasing the availability of goods and services for low- and moderate-income residents in the City of Los Angeles.
  • Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF): LADF creates jobs and boosts the economy of low-income communities using the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program by investing in businesses and real estate projects in low-income communities. The LADF reviews projects for possible investment on a rolling basis in accordance with underwriting and project selection criteria approved by the LADF Governing Board.
  • California Dream Fund (Spanish website): The California Dream Fund Grant Program is a one-time $35 million grant program launched by the State of California to provide microgrants up to $10,000 to seed qualifying small business creation throughout California.

 

CONTRACTING SUPPORT

  • The Contractor Development and Bonding Program (CDABP) removes the barriers of surety bonding by providing technical and administrative assistance to local, small and minority businesses who are not able to provide the necessary bid, payment, and performance bonds to successfully bid and compete for City business opportunities.
  • Register Your Business with BAVN: To increase minority and small business certifications, needed for city contracts, these businesses can become certified vendors. LA BAVN is an assistance virtual network where you can register your company in order to view and download information about all contractual opportunities offered by the City.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Business Response Unit: The EWDD’s Business Response Unit is available to provide aid to entrepreneurs navigating through the bureaucracy of the City of Los Angeles' departments. This will help people needing assistance to become legally compliant or requiring City resources to conduct business. The Business Response Unit can supply specific contacts throughout various City departments as well as guide individuals and businesses to appropriate outside/referral agencies. The Business Response Unit can coordinate across multiple departments to resolve delays or other difficulties with City permits, licensing, inspections, and other matters.
  • Los Angeles Small Business Commission: Established in 2019, the Los Angeles Small Business Commission (LASBC) is an advisory group that will serve as a liaison between the City and the small business community,\ and as a public forum dedicated to issues affecting entrepreneurs and small business owners. The LASBC also advises the Mayor, City Council and the EWDD on policies promoting small business growth, and evaluates proposed City, State and Federal legislation that may impact small businesses in the City.

KEY CONTACTS

LA BAVN Virtual Assistance.