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ED 4

Mayor Bass issues Executive Directive 4 to support small business creation, development and growth in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Bass today signed her fourth Executive Directive to urgently identify burdensome processes and fees that impede small business creation, development and growth in Los Angeles.

The Mayor was joined by Council President Paul Krekorian, regional business leaders and local business owners as she announced the establishment of the Los Angeles Business Steering Committee, which will bring together leaders from City Departments to identify existing barriers to opening and operating small businesses in the City of Los Angeles. The Steering Committee will be led by Deputy Mayor Rachel Freeman and the Mayor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. 

“People want to start and grow their businesses in Los Angeles, but over the years, City Hall has made those dreams harder to achieve by requiring fees upon fees and complicated and time-consuming approval processes,” said Mayor Bass. “It’s past time to make it easier for small and minority businesses to do business in L.A., which is why Executive Directive 4 is an important first step in a series of initiatives that put City Hall on a path to being a partner to attracting and retaining small business instead of a barrier.”

“On the City Council, we’ve been finding ways to make Los Angeles an easier place to do business,” said Council President Krekorian. “We’ve reformed the City’s procurement process to create more opportunities for small entrepreneurs, and our Restaurant Beverage Program offers restaurateurs a shorter, less expensive route to obtaining an onsite liquor license if they agree to one set of commonsense ‘Good Neighbor’ rules. This Executive Directive shows that Mayor Bass is ready to take action now, and the new Business Steering Committee will be a great help in reducing unnecessary obstacles to starting a business or staying in business right here in Los Angeles.”

The Executive Directive requires:

  • A review of existing business taxes and fees and reasonable opportunities to reduce those costs with special attention to how fees impact small businesses + and micro businesses;

  • An assessment of the existing processes and timelines associated with starting and operating a business in the City; and

  • A comparative analysis to those of other jurisdictions’ business regulations and approaches to fostering business growth and attraction.

The Steering Committee will report back on its initial findings within 90 days.

“Opening a business in LA was a priority for us, so when my business partner and I found a space in Toluca Lake, we were ecstatic. I want to see other businesses like ours thrive, despite rules and regulations that oftentimes make it hard for our small businesses to flourish. I cannot thank Mayor Bass enough for her dedication to this issue, and for helping lift up our business community, both large and small. I know that with this new Executive Directive, we will be able to make it easier and more accessible for businesses to open up and stay in Los Angeles,” said Brian Veskosky, Co-Owner of Red Maple in Toluca Lake.

According to data from City Departments, small businesses represent 99% of businesses that have opened in the City since 2022 and are responsible for 63% of net new jobs. 

Read the full Executive Directive below: 



Issue Date: June 22, 2023


Subject: Identifying Barriers to Small Business Creation, Development and Growth

The City of Los Angeles is a major international hub for business and entrepreneurial activity. Our City is home to over 460,000 businesses, the majority of which are small businesses that were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the challenges brought by the last few years, small businesses represent 99% of the businesses that have opened in the City since 2022 and are responsible for 63% of net new jobs nationwide. To help these businesses continue to recover, thrive, and strengthen our local economy as a whole, the City is committed to reducing the barriers to small business growth.

To that end, I am creating the Los Angeles Business Steering Committee (LABSC) composed of representatives from City Departments and led by the Mayor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The Committee will be charged with evaluating the current state of commerce in the City and providing recommendations to promote the creation of, investment in, and growth of our local businesses. This marks the first step of many that we will take to fortify the infrastructure that underpins our local economy.

I hereby direct the Los Angeles Business Steering Committee (LABSC)  to lead this effort and to perform the following tasks:

  1. Review and assess their respective department’s fees and taxes that apply to businesses and identify reasonable reductions that can be made to promote business creation and growth. Evaluate the cost of doing business within the City and discern how small businesses are experiencing these costs. 

  2. Assess the existing processes and timelines associated with starting a new business, expanding an existing one, and contracting directly or indirectly with the City. Develop a streamlined and modernized road map for navigating City processes in order to simplify businesses' engagement with the City.

  3. Ensure Los Angeles remains competitive with other jurisdictions by conducting a comparative analysis of our City’s fees, taxes, timelines, and procedures to those of other Cities that have successfully attracted businesses in recent years. Evaluate how other municipalities approach business growth and attraction to determine best practices.

The scope of this directive is expansive and will require a cross-departmental approach. The following departments are directed to be active members of this Committee:

  • Mayor's Office of Business and Economic Development

  • Office of Finance

  • Office of the City Administrative Officer

  • Office of the City Controller

  • City Planning Department

  • Department of Building and Safety

  • Department of Water and Power

  • Economic and Workforce Development Department

  • Department of Cannabis Regulation

  • Department of Public Works (Bureau of Contract Administration, Bureau of Street Lighting, Bureau of Engineering, Bureau of Sanitation, and Bureau of Street Services)

  • Fire Department

Other departments may be included, at the discretion of the Los Angeles Business Steering Committee (LABSC), at varying stages of the process.

Finally, I direct the Los Angeles Business Steering Committee (LABSC) to conduct its initial findings and report back to the Mayor’s Office within 90 days of the issuance of this directive.