Los Angeles/ Retail & Industry
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Published on May 20, 2024
Mayor Karen Bass Ignites LA Economy with New Programs to Empower Small BusinessesSource: Karen Bass For Mayor, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Karen Bass is fueling Los Angeles' economic engine with the launch of new resources aimed at bolstering small businesses and entrepreneurs. The City of Angels is set to give a digital and educational leg up to its local establishments with programs like LA Optimized 2.0 and LApreneur — a move to ensure the bustling metropolis maintains its competitive edge in the digital age and keeps its entrepreneurial spirit thriving.

According to Mayor Bass, these initiatives are a direct response to the needs vocalized by the city's business community. "We are continuing to open Los Angeles for business by offering more and new resources to help Angelenos be competitive online and new learning opportunities to help Angelenos deepen their knowledge and hone their business skills," Bass said, as reported on the city's official website.

The LA Optimized 2.0 program, funded through American Rescue Plan Act allocations, promises to help entrepreneurs enhance their internet footprint. With the goal of leveling the digital playing field, it offers a helping hand to up to 500 businesses in need of constructing or refurbishing websites and social media platforms, and up to 1,000 more in line for digital evaluations to maximize their online presence.

LApreneur, the educational counterpart, comes as a product of a concerted effort by the Mayor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and other key players such as Loyola Marymount University. This program is hoped to fill the knowledge void for minority business owners by streamlining access to business education and resources that were shared by the Mayor’s Small Business Cabinet helped the development of.

These efforts come on the heels of the fourth annual Los Angeles Region Small Business Summit, a bustling meeting of minds that saw over 500 entrepreneurs connect with essential business support from both the public and private sectors. The summit's resource expo and free on-site services like legal aid and credit counseling demonstrate the city's holistic approach to nurturing its small business ecosystem.

Along with these programs, Mayor Bass has been proactive in making the city more business-friendly. The Mayor's State of the City address highlighted triumphs like attracting Banc of California to Los Angeles and proposed upgrades to iconic infrastructures, like the Los Angeles Convention Center, all in a bid to reinvigorate L.A.'s economic landscape.