Experience Hollywood


Hollywood Chamber Calendar of Events

Hollywood Chamber Calendar of Events

Submit your event!

www.navigatehollywood.com

 

Why I'm a Member...

Vartan Adzemian Vadeal Print

This was a great decision. Our membership to the Hollywood Chamber offered us great exposure. We met a lot of quality people in business. We worked with the Hollywood Historic Hotel and Cardio Barre. This Chamber is a great organization to be a part of and we want to get more involved and hopefully do more business and higher volume.

Alex Jelev and Vartan Adzemian
Co-owners, Vadeal Print
11823 E. Slauson Ave., Unit 31
www.vadealprint.com

Vartan Adzemian

Vadeal Print

View all Testimonials

Community Events

April 2014
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Welcome to the Hollywood Chamber

Legislature’s Closing Gift to Business – A Step Forward on CEQA Reform

Sept 6, 2011

By Leron Gubler
President & CEO

Now that the California Legislature has adjourned for the season, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief. There was finally progress, albeit small, in the march toward needed CEQA reform. At the same time, at least one onerous job killer bill failed to pass.

The Hollywood Chamber’s top priority this past year has been CEQA reform. Development in Hollywood has been brought to a standstill due to CEQA-related lawsuits. As we pointed out earlier in the year, more than 6,000 jobs have been lost or delayed due to these lawsuits or threats – a real tragedy during this time of economic stress.
With the help of Senator Curren Price, a bill was introduced for us (SB 735) that would have shortened the litigation timeframe. Our bill was one of 29 CEQA-related reform bills that were before the legislature. None of them made it through the approval process.

However, in a surprising development last week, two CEQA-related bills passed. SB 292 was written to exempt the proposed Farmers Field stadium in Downtown L.A. from lengthy lawsuits. A companion bill, AB 900 (Buchanan/Gordon/Steinberg) also passed. This would apply some of the same benefits that were given to the Farmers Field project to other large projects of more than $100-million in value. The bill would give the Governor the right to fast track these projects through the litigation by moving immediately to the appeals court, thereby cutting off the ability of litigators to kill projects by endlessly delaying their hearings.

This is good news for Hollywood – but it is just one small step. Real CEQA reform is still needed to address the flaws in the system that allow for CEQA abuse.

At the same time, we were pleased to learn that another bill, AB 350, had failed to clear the Senate by a slim margin. This bill would have taken away a company’s ability to manage its own affairs, by requiring any firm that changes contractors for “property services” such as security, cleaning, building maintenance, or food services, to retain employees of the former contractor for a minimum of 60 days and thereafter offer continued employment unless the employees’ performance during that period was unsatisfactory. It would have been one more black eye for California, and would have been held up by other states as another example of this State’s anti-business bent.

These were good developments for Hollywood and the business community. Hopefully, we can build on this progress next year to make more progress.

Those are my views. If you have any thoughts on these subjects, I’d welcome them. Just email me at leron@hollywoodchamber.net.
 


The View From The President’s Desk

July 26, 2011

By Leron Gubler
President & CEO

One of the most important entities that has played a major role in the revitalization of Hollywood has been the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Back in the mid-1980s, when nothing was working and Hollywood was sliding rapidly downward, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce led the effort to bring the CRA to this community.

Our faith paid off, and while it took a while for the agency to gear up, to fight off lawsuits challenging its existence, and to start seeing results, it nevertheless has helped to make things happen in Hollywood. The funding for the Agency comes primarily from what is known as the “Tax Increment” – which is the added value of a property as property values rise.
Over the past year, we have seen a tug-of-war as the State has attempted to solve its financial woes by accessing these funds intended to spur revitalization. Many, including myself, doubt the wisdom of this move when the State has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. However, in desperate times the Legislature has resorted to desperate measures and has passed two bills that would force local CRAs to either pay the State a hefty sum or to go out of business.

What this means for the City of L.A. is that the Agency must pay $100-million this year and approximately $40-million annually thereafter. Approximately a quarter of these funds will come from two Hollywood projects. The Hollywood project area would pay $18-million from its budget of $66-million, while the East Hollywood project area would have to pay $6-milliion from its $18-million budget.
These payments from our project areas will mean that important programs will be cut. However, the alternative scenario would be that the CRA would go out of business. The League of California Cities has sued the State, charging that the actions are illegal. They may yet prevail in court, but Los Angeles cannot afford to wait for a court decision. The CRA is recommending to the City Council that the City make the payments in order to keep the CRA in business. This recommendation will go before the Council in August.
At our Board meeting last week, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce strongly reaffirmed its support for the CRA. We will appear before the City Council and voice our support for the recommended action. We may not like the swipe of local funds intended for revitalization, but to not approve the action would wreak havoc with the Agency. Valuable employees would be lost and many projects would come to a standstill.

Hollywood, while a great success story as far as revitalization, is still a work in progress. For those of us on the ground here, we know there is so much more that needs to be done and much more that the CRA can do to further our cause.
Let’s take the steps necessary to provide continuity while the legal issues work their way through the courts.
 


The View From The President’s Desk

July 19, 2011

By Leron Gubler
President & CEO

The Chamber will be represented at a hearing on Wednesday morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Public Works Building, 1149 S. Broadway, to speak out strongly against an ill-advised proposal to force all businesses within the City to utilize a City-selected franchisee to collect their trash.

The notice says the purpose is to “help the City reach its Zero Waste, environmental and financial goals more expediently and efficiently.” My guess is that the “financial” is likely the more important of the goals for the City. We all know that the City is strapped financially and looking for sources of revenue. However, if they enact this proposal, it will be just one more example used to show that the City is not business friendly.

We all know how the gross receipts tax makes the City uncompetitive and drives out businesses. Preventing a business from selecting the most cost-effective and responsive trash collection firm is one more way to add to the costs of doing business in the City of Los Angeles. Studies show that in cities with exclusive franchises, the costs of trash fees rise substantially from those that do not.

The City has expressed its concern for the studios and keeping filming in Los Angeles, but these fees will have a dampening impact on the studios, that are already complaining about the Department of Water & Power’s change in fees to measuring peak energy-usage, which penalizes studios.

Sunset-Gower Studios, as one example, has more than 50 trash pick-ups a day, so it is easy to see how the added costs would impact this business.

Of course, the Chamber is concerned about how this franchise would impact all of our businesses, both large and small, at a time of economic difficulty. If the City truly believes it needs to franchise waste haulers, then it must be a non-exclusive franchise system that preserves the element of competition and allows businesses to select the best company to service their needs.

If you agree, please join us at the hearing.


The View From The President’s Desk

July 12, 2011

By Leron Gubler
President & CEO

The City of Los Angeles celebrated the opening this week of its new Development Services Case Management Office. For those who remember the talk in recent years about a “12 to 2” proposed plan to streamline the City’s permit process, this is indeed good news. That plan ended up going nowhere and had to be dropped because of opposition from some of the departments.
Earlier this year, the City hired the KH Consulting Group to reform the process which led to the current outcome. The new office houses expert staff from the five key departments that oversee development: Planning, Building and Safety, Bureau of Engineering, Water and Power, and the Department of Transportation.

The plan is for every development project to be assigned a single case manager who will help navigate the process every step of the way, including entitlements, permitting, public/offsite improvements and utility design. The case managers are expected to resolve any conflicts that arise between departments.

For those of us who have been pounding the bully pulpit for years that the City needs to become more business friendly, this is definitely a positive step. We hope that it will indeed lead to a “smarter, more efficient, collaborative way” of doing business at the City, as the Mayor stated at the dedication.

Of course, this is just a first step. There is much more that can be done – beginning with the City’s gross receipts tax. We all know what a sore point the tax is and how it makes Los Angeles noncompetitive. The loss of Legal Zoom and its 400 jobs was a hard blow to Hollywood.

We also need to see the completion of the Hollywood Community Plan. Having an outdated plan has been one of the grounds for lawsuits challenging projects in this community.

The City could also take a proactive stance on CEQA at the local level and not just blame the State for CEQA barriers to development. Among things the City could do are streamlining environmental review for re-use projects, exempting urban in-fill projects from unnecessary environmental review, and complying with statutorily-mandated CEQA deadlines.

The City should also consider the economic impact of their decisions – such as the proposed solid waste franchise that might affect businesses adversely.

So, yes, this is indeed a step in the right direction, but it is only one step in a journey to make the City more business friendly. Let’s all work toward that end.
 


Get Your Business Involved…

Welcome to the website of the most famous chamber of commerce in the world. Hollywood is a dynamic community and it has a dynamic chamber of commerce.

Approximately 24 times a year, the Chamber inducts a celebrity into the internationally renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is broadcast around the globe. As the originator of the Walk of Fame, the Chamber has administered it on behalf of the City of Los Angeles for 50 years. Created as a marketing attraction for the community, the Hollywood Walk of Fame has become one of the most successful marketing ideas ever devised by a chamber of commerce.

However, the activities of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce go far beyond the Walk of Fame. We are a business organization working to make Hollywood a better community for both businesses and residents.

We work to create a strong economy by helping businesses in their dealings with the public sector. Whether it is a large company like LegalZoom, or a small business like Locali, we are there to assist in resolving the issues that affect their ability to conduct business.

We work to promote the community, not just through the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but through numerous other activities, such as LoHo – our Locals Only Hollywood Offer that provides Southern Californians an opportunity to visit Hollywood and take advantage of great offers. We pitch Hollywood stories to the press all year, but especially at our Awards Media Center, that we staff during the week prior to the Academy Awards.

We provide great networking opportunities through our Business After Hours Mixers, our Business Bootcamps, our President’s Luncheons and numerous seminars.

We represent the interests of business with government, by speaking out at numerous hearings, writing letters and lobbying on issues that impact our businesses and by making trips to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento. We monitor the status of important legislative initiatives and keep our members informed on how they can make a difference.

We give back to the community through our Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation that has given out more than $600,000 to Hollywood nonprofit groups since it was formed.

This is a great organization with which to be involved. Find out for yourself by exploring our website and learning about the many activities of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Leron Gubler
President & CEO
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

Variety
Hollywood Museum
Millennium Hollywood
CIM Group
Kaiser Permanente
Andres International
Avison Young
Paramount Contractors & Developers
Paramount Pictures
Occidental Entertainment
Sunset Gower/Sunset Bronson Studios
Author Services
Briggs Law
Capitol Records
Famous Hollywood Dental Care
Hollywood Hotel
Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center
Iron Mountain Film & Sound Archives
Original Farmers Market

Hollywood Chamber Videos

© 2014 Hollywood Chamber of Commerce | Contact | Site powered by ChamberWebPro