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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Recent Survey Shows Small Business Optimistic About Economy -- But Not Long Beach

The Walter Pyramid is a collegiate athletic fa...The Walter Pyramid is a collegiate athletic facility located at Long Beach State University in Long Beach, California. It officially opened on November 30, 1994, and cost approximately $22 million to construct. It rises 18 stories high and measures 345 feet along each side of the base. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)There's good news and some bad about small business in Long Beach.

The good news is that in a survey of small businesses conducted by CSULB College of Business Administration, local small businesses are optimistic about the economy. In fact, 51% surveyed indicated they thought the local economy would get better.

But when asked if they would "start a news business in Long Beach today" only 36% responded they would. 44% responded they would start new business somewhere else; 21% responded they would not open a new business at all.

When asked what can be done to help their businesses, 63% responded that the local economy needs to improve; 61% responded that local business taxes needed to be reduced; 55% responded that regulations and bureaucracy needed to be streamlined; 46% needed more access to credit; and 34% needed incentives to hire more people.

This is a good report because it gives the City of Long Beach more information on what can be done to grow business and jobs in Long Beach. Again, that's why I have and am again proposing business tax relief and will be moving forward to hold "A Day without a Regulation" town hall to hear what specific regulations need to be changed.

Below is the report from CSULB on this survey.


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Friday, June 1, 2012

Schipske Proposes Business License Tax Relief for Independent Contractors Such as Real Estate Agents

1941 REALTOR ad #11941 REALTOR ad #1 (Photo credit: NARinfocentral)

Schipske Proposes ‘Business License Tax Relief for Independent Contractors’ such as Real Estate Agents – Says City Has an Interest in Promoting Business

Long Beach, CA – June 1, 2012 – Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske is continuing her advocacy on behalf of Long Beach small businesses by introducing a council item that would provide business license tax relief for independent contractors during the coming Fiscal Year.

In her agenda item for the June 12 council meeting, Schipske points out that “the current economic market  remains depressed , particularly in real estate – which is partially due to the mortgage crisis and the number of homes now ‘underwater’ – making it extremely difficult for the independent contractor to survive.” 

Schipske also notes that the City of Long Beach requires independent contractors, such as real estate agents, to obtain a business license. “Real estate brokers under which these agents work must also pay for a separate business license. Both real estate agents and brokers also generate the ‘real estate property transfer tax’ which results in additional revenue to the City. There are a number of other types of independent contractors that are also struggling to stay in business as they deal with this difficult economy.”
Schipske adds that in 1991, the City Council enacted a 16% surcharge on business licenses for capital projects. “This surcharge apparently has been folded into the amount of the business licenses (although it still appears on licenses as a separate charge), and increases the amount of the business license tax to its current levels.”

Schipske reminds the Council that “the City of Long Beach has a legitimate interest in promoting business in the city. Frequently, the city provides rebates of sales taxes or other financial incentives to keep businesses located here. A waiver of either the business license tax and/or a backing out of the 16% surcharge on independent contractors for at least the next fiscal year would provide some relief to these businesses and signal the city’s support.”

Her agenda item, if passed, would request the City Manager to report to the City Council within 90 days on the feasibility of waiving the business license tax and/or the 16% surcharge being removed from business licenses for independent contractors for at least FY 2013.

Since taking office, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has pursued a number of efforts to assist small businesses, including a small business advisory committee; “primetime business” – which encourages City Council to showcase a local business once a month at council meetings; and a package of “business growth incentives” which she placed on the Council agenda last August. She is planning on urging her colleagues to hold a town hall: “A Day Without a Regulation” – to listen to the concerns from businesses on what can be done in the city to stimulate the local economy.

“Small business is the economic engine of our community and local government needs to do what it can to support and encourage it and to get out of the way when it needs to,” Schipske concludes.
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

LB Gets Bad News From State Department of Finance

The State Department of Finance today released two letters sent to Long Beach about the amounts claimed for administrative expenses to wind down and dispose of redevelopment assets and apparently is questioning what the City has determined as remaining obligations of redevelopment.

Here is the first of two letters posted today on the State Department of Finance website:
Long Beach ROPS May 21

Here is the second letter telling the City the state is disallowing almost $6 million for administrative expenses:
Long Beach May25 ROPS Approval Letter

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