Business Resource Guide

TVEA Business Resource Guide Nov 2015

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A Summary of San Fernando Valley Resources, Services, and Incentives

Creating Economic Prosperity by Elevating the Vitality and Stability of the Region

This guide has been prepared by The Valley Economic Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic vitality of the San Fernando Valley region. At its core, The Valley Economic Alliance informs businesses of available programs, incentives, and organizations available to help maximize their businesses. A brief summary is provided with a link to access more information. For additional information and personal connections, call The Valley Economic Alliance at 818-379-7000.

Table of Contents

I. Tax Credits and Incentives

II. Financing

III. Valley Cities and Incentives

IV. Accelerators, Incubators, and Start-up Information

V. Small Business Administration Information

VI. Energy and Environmental Incentives

VII. Local Utility Information, Programs, and Incentives

VIII. Recruitment, Training & Customized Employment Programs

IX. Business Consulting Centers and Local Networking Opportunities

X. Valley Government and Advocacy

XI. International Trade Programs

XII. Other Helpful Programs

XIII. Technical Assistance and Personal Connections

The San Fernando Valley (The Valley)

Why start, grow, or move your business to the Valley? The Valley is located in Los Angeles County, and is a 260 square mile region that encompasses 5 cities, 1.9 million residents, and 160,000 businesses. If it were a city, the Valley would be the 5th largest in the United States, outpacing Philadelphia, Phoenix, and San Antonio. The Valley offers everything a company needs for doing business. A diverse, skilled workforce supports a variety of business types, from small entrepreneurs to major corporate companies. A network of prestigious academic institutions provides stellar candidates and educational opportunities to help businesses reach their goals. Competitive commercial lease rates offer businesses room to expand. The Valley has some of the lowest utility rates in the state, which instantly lowers your cost of doing business. The Valley is connected with seven major freeways, putting businesses just minutes away from three major airports, including Van Nuys Airport, Burbank Bob Hope Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport. You will also be near the nation’s two busiest container ports, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Steeped in history, the Valley is a high-quality environment in which to live, work and raise a family.

I. Tax Credits and Incentives

New Markets Tax Credit

This program permits taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs). Substantially all of the qualified equity investment must in turn be used by the CDE to provide investments in low-income communities. Qualified Active Low Income Community Businesses must be in the designated low-income census tracts, and must have a >20% poverty rate as well as a median family income of <80%. The credit provided to the investor totals 39% of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period. In each of the first three years, the investor receives a credit equal to 5% of the total amount paid for the stock or capital interest at the time of purchase.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a Federal income tax credit provided to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals from nine target groups who have consistently faced barriers to employment. These groups include:

  • Veterans Target Groups
  • Long-Term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Recipient
  • Short-Term TANF Recipient
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamp) Recipient
  • Designated Community Resident
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Referred Individual
  • Ex-Felon
  • Supplemental Security Income Recipient
  • Summer Youth Employee

Employers generally can earn a tax credit equal to 25% or 40% of a new employee’s first-year wages, up to the maximum for the target group to which the employee belongs. Employers will earn 25% if the employee works at least 120 hours and 40% if the employee works at least 400 hours.

Section 179 Tax Deduction (Upgrading Equipment)

Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

  • 2015 Deduction Limit = $25,000
  • 2015 Spending Cap on equipment purchases = $200,000
  • Bonus Depreciation: not available in 2015

Please keep in mind that to qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment listed below must be purchased and put into use between January 1 and December 31 of the tax year you are claiming.

  • Equipment (machines, etc) purchased for business use
  • Tangible personal property used in business
  • Business Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 6,000 lbs (Section 179 Vehicle Deductions)
  • Computers
  • Computer “Off-the-Shelf” Software
  • Office Furniture
  • Office Equipment
  • Property attached to your building that is not a structural component of the building (i.e.: a printing press, large manufacturing tools and equipment)
  • Partial Business Use (equipment that is purchased for business use and personal use: generally, your deduction will be based on the percentage of time you use the equipment for business purposes).

Manufacturers’ Energy Efficient Appliance Credit

This credit applies to businesses that manufacture energy/water efficient dishwashers, clothes washers, and refrigerators. The Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010 modifies and extends the energy efficient appliance credit for certain dishwashers, clothes washers, and refrigerators manufactured after December 31, 2010. The credit may be claimed on each qualifying appliance produced by the taxpayer and is based on the type of appliance, its energy efficiency, and for dishwashers and clothes washers, the amount of water it consumes. The total credit for any type of qualifying appliance is the applicable amount listed on the below link multiplied by the eligible production for such type.

Small Business Health Credit

A qualified small business can claim a credit for 50 percent of the health insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees. To be eligible for the credit, the business must pay premiums on behalf of employees enrolled in a qualified health plan offered through a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplace or otherwise qualify for an exception. The credit is available to eligible employers for two consecutive tax years.

Employer-Provided Childcare Credit

A business may qualify for a credit if it provides child care benefits on the jobsite or nearby. The credit is equal to 25 percent of qualified child care services plus 10 percent of qualified resource and referral expenses, limited to a maximum credit of $150,000 for the year.

ADA Compliance Tax Incentives

To help businesses welcome customers with disabilities, the IRS offers two tax incentives to remove access barriers. The following tax incentives can be used every year to help cover the cost of expenditures to bring businesses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • Tax Credit for disabled access expenditure: Small businesses with 30 or fewer employees or total revenues of $1 million or less can take a general business credit of up to $5,000 for eligible access expenditures to comply with ADA. The credit is generally equal to 50% of eligible expenditure.
  • Tax Deductions for eligible access expenditure: Businesses of all sizes can deduct up to $15,000 per year for costs of removing architectural and transportation barriers to make businesses more accessible to and usable by handicapped and elderly individuals. Absent this provision, businesses must capitalize and depreciate such expenditure generally over 39 years.

California Competes Credit

Businesses will have the opportunity to compete for available tax credits when contemplating to move their business out of the state. 25% of these credits will be designated for small businesses. Criteria for competition includes the number of jobs to be created or retained, the extent of poverty in a business development area, a minimum compensation limitation and a set job retention period. For fiscal year 2015-16, GO-Biz will accept applications for the California Competes Tax Credit during the following periods:

  • July 20, 2015, through August 17, 2015 ($75 million available)
  • January 4, 2016, through January 25, 2016 ($75 million available)
  • March 7, 2016, through March 28, 2016 ($50.9 million plus any remaining unallocated amounts from the previous application periods)

(Partial) Sales and Use Tax Exemption

This is a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing, biotechnology, and research and development equipment purchases. The partial exemption applies only to the state sales and use tax rate portion, currently at 4.1875 percent. The exemption does not apply to any local, city, county, or district tax. This exemption applies to all manufacturers (NAICS Codes 3111 – 3399, inclusive), Research and Development in Biotechnology, and the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (NAICS Codes 541711 and 541712, respectively).

(Full) Sales and Use Tax Exclusion – Advanced Manufacturing & Transportation, and Alternative Energy

A sales tax exclusion from both state and local sales tax collection on equipment purchases for qualifying businesses that conduct qualifying activities. Sales tax rates vary by jurisdiction (typically 7% to 9.25%).

Sales and Use Tax Exemption – Agriculture

This program which is administered by the Board of Equalization, provides a partial sales tax exemption available under section 6356.5 for the sale, storage, use, or other consumption of farm equipment, machinery and their parts to qualified persons for use in qualifying activities. The partial exemption may also apply to leases.

The partial exemption applies only to the state sales and use tax rate portion. The exemption does not apply to any local, city, county, or district taxes. Sales and purchases of farm equipment, machinery and parts will continue to be subject to the remaining portion of the sales and use tax rate consisting of the local, city, county and any applicable district taxes.

New Employment Hiring Tax Credit (NEC)

The NEC is available for each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2021, to a qualified taxpayer that hires a qualified full-time employee on or after January 1, 2014, and pays or incurs qualified wages attributable to work performed by the qualified full-time employee in a designated census tract or economic development area, and that receives a tentative credit reservation for that qualified full-time employee.

Research & Development Tax Credit

A tax credit may be available for the incremental increase in Research and Development spending a business has within a year. The credit is 15% on state income for work performed in-house or 24% for work performed by an outside firm. To qualify, research must be conducted within California and must not include research for the purpose of improving a commercial product for style, taste, cosmetic or seasonal design factors. The credit is applied to the incremental increase in Research and Development spending for the year.

California Film & Television Tax Credit

This tax credit incentive program is available to qualified motion pictures. One hundred million dollars has been allocated annually beginning in fiscal year 2009-2010 through 2016-2017 on a first-come first-served basis. The program allows a 20% tax credit for qualified production related expenses against State income taxes. The program offers a special 5% additional tax credit bonus for those TV series that return from out of state and to “independent films.”

Net Operating Loss Carryover

California tax law allows businesses that experience a loss for the year to carry this loss forward to the next year (dubbed “Net Operating Loss Carryover”) in order to offset income in the years that follow. New businesses can carry-over 100% of their losses for 20 years if the loss is in their first year of operation.

College Access Tax Credit (CATC)

CATC is a credit available to individuals and business entities that contribute to the CATC Fund. The California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA) administers the fund. The CATC is available for taxable years 2014 through 2017. The credit is a percentage of the amount you contribute each taxable year:

  • 55 percent for 2015.
  • 50 percent for 2016.
  • 50 percent for 2017.

The credit can be used to offset tax, including reducing the tax below tentative minimum tax. You may also be able to claim a charitable deduction on your federal tax return. If you do this, you must add back the amount of the charitable deduction taken on your federal return as a state adjustment on your California tax return. You cannot claim a deduction and a credit for the same contribution. The maximum aggregate amount of tax credits that can be allocated and certified by CEFA is $500 million.

II. Financing

USDA Rural Development Business & Industry Guaranteed Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsors “Business & Industry” guaranteed loans in rural communities. USDA guarantees up to 80% on loans from $750,000 to $5 million and up to 70% on loans up to $10 million. Rates are fixed or variable and negotiated between lender and business. Terms are typically seven years for working capital, 15 years on equipment and 30 years on real estate.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program

HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program is the loan component of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) providing communities a resource to fund economic development, housing, public facilities and large scale physical development projects. Section 108 offers low interest loans for a variety of economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects.

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund Program (RLF)

The EDA RLF Program supplies small businesses and entrepreneurs with gap financing to start or expand their business. As part of the EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, EDA’s regional offices award competitive grants to units of local government, state governments, institutions of higher education, public or private non-profit organizations, EDA-approved economic development district organizations, and Indian Tribes to establish RLFs.

USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Guaranteed Loan Program

REAP encourages the commercial financing of renewable energy (bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, solar, wind and hydro power) and energy efficiency projects. Under the program, project developers will work with local lenders who in turn can apply to USDA Rural Development for a loan guarantee up to 85 percent of the loan amount.

Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program

This federal program offers opportunities to producers to development such fuels through the biofuels assistance programs. These programs provide loan guarantees for up to $250 million towards the development, construction and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries and similar products.

Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs)

IDB financing is a financing option available for the acquisition of manufacturing facilities and equipment. IDBs provide a method for middle market manufacturers to access the private capital markets at tax-exempt rates. The IDB interest rate is lower than bank financing because the interest paid to the investor is exempt from state and federal income tax. A government entity will issue bonds and loan proceeds to the company. The company’s obligation to repay the loan is secured by a direct-pay Letter of Credit from a bank rated ‘A’ or better. IDBs can be issued by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank), cities, counties, and joint powers authorities.

  • $20 million maximum loan
  • Interest rate 20-30% below conventional financing rates
  • Primary business activity: manufacturing, processing, fabrication
  • Primary use: acquisition, construction, rehab, equipment

California Capital Access Program (CalCAP)

This program encourages participating banks and lending institutions to provide loans to small businesses that fall outside of conventional underwriting standards. Small business owners that have difficulty in obtaining conventional financing may qualify for a CalCAP loan through any CalCAP lender. CalCAP insures loans made by Participating Lenders to small businesses in order to assist their growth efforts with eligible use of fund proceeds to acquire land, construct or renovate buildings, purchase equipment, working capital, energy efficiency improvement projects as well as bridge financing needed prior to obtaining permanent financing (including SBA 504 bridge loans).

CalCAP Collateral Support (CalCAP CS)

CS pledges cash to cover the collateral shortfall of a loan made by eligible lenders in order to enable financing that otherwise might not be available to a small business. The Collateral Support Program provides up to 40% of the loan value, in the form of a cash deposit, with the possibility of an additional 10% for businesses located in a Severely Affected Community.

California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (SBLGP)

This program assists businesses with the creation and retention of jobs while encouraging investment in low-to-moderate income communities. The SBLGP enables small businesses to obtain a loan and establish a favorable credit history with a lender so the business may obtain loans in the future without the assistance of the program.

Providing Loan Assistance for California Equipment Program (PLACE)

The California Air Resources Board has developed innovative financing programs to provide fleet owners, particularly small business owners, easier access to loan opportunities. The ARB’s loan programs offer several options to increase financing accessibility including loans, loan guarantees and other mechanisms to assist industries affected by ARB regulations.

PLACE Program for Off-Road Vehicles is a loan guarantee program available for off-road vehicle owners requiring assistance for financing retrofits, repowers and replacements.

The PLACE Program for On-Road Vehicles (formerly On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicle Air Quality Loan Program) offers financial assistance to fleet owners subject to two regulations approved by the Board in December 2008.

The Goods Movement Emissions Reduction Program may offer loan assistance to upgrade equipment used in freight movement along California’s trade corridors.

State Loan Guarantee Program through Pacific Coast Regional (PCR)

PCR provides financial, educational and consulting services. PCR’s financial programs include: loan guarantees, disaster bridge loans, and direct (environmental) loans. Other services include Small Business Seminars, Small Business Consultants Program and Small Business Start-Up Guide.

The Los Angeles County Community Development Commission (LACDC)

LACDC offers several lending programs ranging from a Micro Loan to a Float Loan Program. Loans vary in size up to $10 million.

  • Business Loan Programs – a revolving loan fund that assists companies with expansion and development offered by the LACDC.
  • Float Loan Program – provides short-term loans for land acquisition, construction, equipment, and working capital for businesses, private developers and public agencies.
  • Technology Loan Program – provides loans for start-up, early state high technology firms located in the participating innovation centers of the Los Angeles County Innovation Network.
  • Business Expansion Loan Program – provides financial assistance to small and medium sized businesses to create and expand permanent job opportunities and promote economic development in the County.
  • Utility Loan Program – a revolving loan fund designed to assist cities, a mutual water company, or water district finance improvements to their water delivery systems, capacity, and seismic upgrades. Amount: $50,000 to $1,000,000. Current rate: fixed, at six and one-half percent (6.5%). Loan fee: 2 points. Term: varies from 5 to 20 years.

Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles – Technology Advancement Program (TAP)

TAP is conducted by both seaports as part of the Clean Air Action Plan. A committee reviews carbon emission reduction technologies with seaport applications and provides grant funds to companies whose technologies meet the committee’s qualification standards.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) – Regional Clean Air Incentives Market

South Coast AQMD offers a number of programs to and financial incentives to assist business in implementing cleaner technologies, reduce emissions, employ environmental friendly cleaners and solvents and assist in compliance with clean air regulations. This applies to the cities of Glendale, Burbank, San Fernando, and Downtown LA.

RISE Financial Pathway (formerly LA Community Financial Resource Center)

RISE provides financial assistance to businesses located in low-to-moderate census tracts of Los Angeles County. Financing for Micro loans range from $500-$30,000 and Expansion Loans range from $30,000 to $250,000. RISE hosts workshops designed to assist new and existing firms develop computer and business management skills.

Valley Economic Development Corporation (VEDC)

VEDC has consistently provided services to small and medium-sized business owners, entrepreneurs and members of the communities it serves. VEDC has also grown to become the largest non-profit business development corporation in the metropolitan Los Angeles area. For business owners, start-ups, and all businesses – VEDC has many non-conventional options for loans available. A few examples include:

  • Microloan Programs ($1,000 – $50,000)
  • Small Business Loan Programs ($50,000 – $700,000)
  • CA Small Business Loan Guarantees ($25,000 – $500,000)
  • SBA 7(A) Loans ($35,000 – $2,000,000)
  • SBA 504 Loans ($125,000 – $5,000,000)

Major Project Financing – City of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles Major Project Financing program was established to facilitate and “gap” finance assistance for large commercial and industrial real estate projects that provide expanded economic opportunities and jobs for low and moderate income residents of the City.

KIVA – City of Los Angeles

Kiva City Los Angeles (LA) is an initiative that enables anyone with access to the internet a chance to support small business owners, local economies, and local jobs in Los Angeles launched today. KIVA also aims to expand the awareness and availability of microfinance opportunities among small business owners and aspiring owners in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

III. Valley Cities and Incentives

City of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles is an ideal place to grow a business, with access to large regional, national, and international markets. L.A.’s world-class infrastructure, extensive human capital, and highly-diversified economy and resource network ensure that whatever businesses need to thrive, can be found here. In addition, the City offers the following incentives:

  • Business Tax Holiday (Ends Dec. 2015)
    • New businesses are exempt from paying a gross receipts tax for their first three years of operation when they register their business within 3 months.
  • Job training & development assistance.
  • Film Incentives:  in support of the Mayor’s Executive Directive 6 (Support for Film Industry)
  • Green Incentives: supporting the Mayor’s pLAn for a greener and sustainable Los Angeles.

Small Business Assistance

  • BusinessSource: provides assistance for the growth and competitive success of a startup in Los Angeles.
  • WorkSource: the City’s human resource agency for entrepreneurs wanting to add employees to their business.

The City’s various departments offer business focused services:

All this information will be available on the new website that is under development: Los Angeles also has 31 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to foster economic development. Los Angeles is considering Industrial Development Bonds (IDBs), Business Tax Reductions, and Direct Project Land Subsidies in the near future.

City of Glendale

The City of Glendale has been named as LA County’s “#1 Safest Mid-Sized City” and has also been recognized as the “Most Business Friendly City” in the County. Glendale is committed to maintaining a high quality of life for its residents and business community. For this reason, the City created the Glendale Economic Development Corporation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation developed to promote, assist, retain and attract quality business in Glendale. Glendale’s programs assist businesses both large and small through:

  • Lower Cost of Doing Business (No gross receipts tax!)
  • Business Concierge Services
  • Streamlined Permit Service Center
  • Local and Regional Collaboration

Glendale’s downtown is becoming an “18-hour city,” vibrant with workers, shoppers, and entertainment seekers. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why You Want Your Business in Glendale:

  1. Lower Cost of Doing Business
  2. Highest Safety Ranking
  3. Convenient Access
  4. Alive with Investment
  5. World Class Amenities
    • Great Dining
    • Healthy Lifestyle
    • Outstanding Infrastructure
  6. Strong Tax Revenue
  7. Great Demographics
  8. Destination Business Districts
  9. Entertainment Industry Cluster
  10. Major Companies Headquartered in Glendale

Follow them on Twitter & Facebook! @GlendaleBiz #GlendaleBiz

City of Calabasas

The City of Calabasas understands that a great business environment is the catalyst for a great city. We levy no city taxes on commercial, retail, wholesale, and manufacturing properties. We have no gross receipts tax. We invest heavily in community infrastructure and pride ourselves on world-class municipal landscaping, clean and well maintained roads and sidewalks, convenient transportation systems, and a commitment to public safety that makes us one of the safest cities in California. Additionally, Calabasas has an exceptionally strong school district with several Blue Ribbon Schools. We boast high-quality housing and neighborhoods, both of which are attractive to employees and top level executives. In short, we provide a place where business and its employees can feel proud to call home. Businesses within the City of Calabasas also benefit from:

  • Direct access to top City leadership on matter of concern to individual businesses
  • No Parking Tax, No Business Tax, and No Business Registration Fees
  • No Utility User Tax Rate for Cable and Water
  • A well-staffed, business friendly development and permitting process

City of Burbank

Home to Warner Bros. Studios, The Walt Disney Company, and more than 1,000 creative companies that make magic happen, Burbank is truly the Media Capital of the World. In addition its population of 106,000 residents, Burbank has a balanced daily workforce of 100,000 specializing in media, hi-tech, hospitality and transportation. Burbank’s reputation as a business-friendly destination is supported by:

  • A proactive city government with a dedicated Economic Development Team focused on concentrating Burbank’s strengths into supporting existing industries, and encouraging creative partnerships.
  • A unique mix of no city income tax, no gross sales receipt tax, and one-stop streamlined permitting process.
  • The ONE Burbank High-Speed Fiber Optic Network offering Burbank businesses ultra-high-speed bandwidth services with industry leading customer service and value.
  • Special business incentives including Solar Power Rebates, the LEED Incentive Program, and Energy Solutions Rebates.
  • A highly educated pool of entrepreneurial, creative and hi-tech talent employed by more than 1,000 post-production houses, technology companies, and startups.
  • The ideal environment for media, entertainment, and creative companies with a high concentration of Class A office space, LEED Certified buildings, and striking architecture.
  • Leadership in public/private partnerships that leverage community assets into shared goals via the Downtown Burbank Partnership, the Burbank Hospitality Association, and the City’s Economic Development Team.
  • Burbank Bob Hope Airport, with 67 flights per day and 3.8 million visitors per year connecting with top Western cities, Silicon Valley, and New York.

Burbank was also named one of the five finalists in the inaugural year of the LAEDC’s Most Business Friendly City in L.A. County competition in 2006; they were a finalist again in 2007; and in 2011 in the population over 60,000 category.

City of San Fernando

The City of San Fernando continues to represent the best of both worlds—an innovative, independent community in the midst of one of the world’s most important metropolitan areas. Its leadership and a mature economic track record complement its young and productive work force. Some of the best reasons to have your business in San Fernando include:

  • Direct access to City Management Team as part of City’s Business Retention and Attraction Efforts
  • Increased accessibility to City decision makers
  • “One-Stop Location” for streamlined review and approval of City business licenses, building permits and project entitlements;
  • Access to City inventory of vacant commercial and industrial properties
  • Low emergency response times for public safety
  • Increased opportunities to develop in a resurging downtown area
  • Prime location – easy access to the 5, 210, and 118 freeways, and a Metrolink station in close proximity to the City’s downtown Mall area
  • Low cost of doing business, including:
    1. Lower development fees
    2. Lower sewer and water rates
    3. Lower Business Taxes and fees

IV. Accelerators, Incubators, and Start-up Information

Disney Accelerator

Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is helping today’s technology innovators turn their dreams for new media and entertainment experiences into reality. Through Disney Accelerator, select companies will gain access to the range of creative expertise and resources of The Walt Disney Company to help them develop their innovative new entertainment experiences and products. Disney Accelerator is a highly selective, immersive mentorship and investment program for technology-enabled startups in the media and entertainment space. Ten startup companies will be selected to gather in the Los Angeles area for three months to accelerate their ideas and build exciting consumer media and entertainment products. Each participating team will receive:

  • $120,000 in investment capital
  • Access to resources, relationships, and characters from across The Walt Disney Company, such as The Walt Disney Studios, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN, ABC, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Consumer Products, and Disney Interactive
  • Support from and access to Techstars’ vast global network of mentors and alumni — an amazing collection of entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators interested in helping participating companies succeed
  • Dedicated Disney Accelerator working space
  • Mentor support from key Disney executives and leaders, other entertainment industry leaders, venture capitalists, and the broader entrepreneurial community
  • An investor Demo Day in October, where each team will present their company and product to entertainment leaders and investors

Media Camp

Media Camp, a Turner/Warner Bros. initiative, is a comprehensive three month accelerator program that educates entrepreneurs and enables them to build innovative media businesses. Key features of Media Camp include presentations and workshops focused on media technology, formal mentorship, community events and knowledge sharing, as well as direct investments and access to executives across the media and entertainment industry. Each participating company will receive an initial $20,000 investment with no minimum percentage of equity, unlike other accelerators.

Make in LA

Make in LA is a hardware accelerator dedicated to de-risking, launching, and supporting product-focused businesses in LA. They have a diverse group of start-up mentors from across the country to share their expertise on building a successful business. You will have access to various business tools, resources, and engineers from their ecosystem as well as NEO Tech’s ecosystem. Additionally, they will provide you with a top notch workspace, complete with all the tools necessary to help design, develop, prototype, and manufacture your product. Their goal is to get you to a fundable prototype. They offer startups $150,000 in two rounds. On day one you receive $75,000, plus free range of their resource-jammed facility for 7.5% equity. Upon graduation, you will receive $75,000 at whatever terms your company is worth. Once accepted into their four month program, the clock is ticking. To fast track your business, you and your team will work full-time out of their Chatsworth facility where you will build the foundation of your company.

Bixel Exchange

Bixel Exchange helps technology entrepreneurs thrive. They do this by combining the power of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and L.A.’s dynamic tech community with the resources of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center. Bixel Exchange offers programs and services that mentor, educate, and connect. They focus on the rapidly evolving segments of the high-tech eco-system, including adtech, clean tech, digital media, gaming, mobile and social media. They assist entrepreneurs by working with accelerators, incubators co-working spaces, venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity firms, universities, research institutions, innovation labs and government to optimize their business.

LA Dodgers Accelerator

With a sports, technology, and entertainment business focus, the LA Dodgers have their own accelerator located in Los Angeles. The fastest changing sports market in history is ushering in a new era for teams and their fans, creating unprecedented opportunities to innovate and shape industry growth. A rising generation of fans, athletes, teams, performers, media players, and sponsors are seeking innovative technologies that span from the stadiums to the streets. The result of the next wave will be more powerful consumer experiences and improved performance across all aspects of the industry. Their program will support companies not only in accelerating these great products and services, but also in building enduring customer experiences and valuable brands. Each business will receive:

  • $120,000 in funding for each start-up, with a 6% equity stake.
  • Co-workspace facilities provided in LA.
  • 80+ mentors from the Dodgers, R/GA, and their respective networks.
  • Partnership, distribution, & strategic support from the Dodgers organization.
  • Design, development, & branding services from R/GA.
  • On-site technology and design experts.
  • An invite-only Demo Day.

The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) – Business Incubator

Are you a new or existing business looking to re-focus yourself and grow? TVEA provides coworking spaces for businesses, where they have opportunities to use all Alliance resources – including access to all partners and investors, events, new clients, and access to the many years of business assistance TVEA has. You’ll start off working here in our office at no cost to you, and then plan accordingly if you want on staying longer. There are even options to one day have your starting office within this building! TVEA can be a great way for you to start your business on the right foot. But whether you’re looking to start-up a new business, or grow your current business, TVEA provides a positive atmosphere to help your business take-off.

CleanTech Los Angeles iHub

The Clean Tech Los Angeles iHub is a partnership among business, academic and government institutions in the City of Los Angeles to develop a world class clean technology cluster. The overarching goal of the CleanTech L.A. iHub is to create and sustain a community of businesses that share common values of sustainability, quality employment opportunities, and innovation in design and manufacturing for the 21st century.


Officeslice Coworking is the space for inspiring, productive, and socially connected business owners and startups who want to “get it done!” There are many reasons to work in a shared environment, but the number one reason to choose OfficeSlice as your coworking space is because they care about you and your business!  If trying to get work done over the noise and lack of seating at the coffee house hasn’t worked out too well for you, then OfficeSlice is here for you.  If you’ve reached a level of unproductivity and isolation at home, they’re here for you.  If you no longer want to sit by yourself in your office, with no one to brainstorm with but your cat, then OfficeSlice is here for you. OfficeSlice offers large worktables, a spacious meeting room, office space, dedicated desk space, mail box service, free seminars, workshops, networking opportunities and so much more.

Applied Minds

Applied Minds is a small company in Glendale that invents, designs and prototypes breakthrough products and services for both industry and government. As a business incubator, they are comprised of an interdisciplinary group of artists, scientists and engineers, with skills in architecture, electronics, mechanics, physics, mathematics, software development, system engineering, and storytelling. Their projects range from toys to cancer treatments, from buildings to algorithms, and from off-road vehicles to high-resolution displays. Their team of world-class innovators enjoy building the next industry-changing technology ideas from concept to prototype.

Pacoima Entrepreneur Center

There are four main components that comprise the Pacoima Entrepreneur Center, which is run by the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC).

  • Business Accelerator Program – For existing business, there will be three cohorts operated each year, with 8-10 business owners selected for each. The program has no charge, but those businesses chose must attend 11 of the 13 workshops, complete a Business Growth Plan, and access a minimum of 20 hours of one-on-one consulting services within 4 months of the date of the first workshop session.
  • Coworking Space – These spaces will be offered to both start-up and existing businesses on a membership bases.
  • North Valley BusinessSource Center – A City of Los Angeles Program, services are at no charge and include business workshops, one-on-one consulting, and access to debt financing.
  • Workshop Series – In addition to the Accelerator and BusinessSource Center workshops, a range of specialized business workshops will be presented at the Center. Presentations will be through an e-format with interactive opportunities offered after each workshop. They will cost $50 per workshop, and discounted for members of the Pacoima Entrepreneur Center.

HexLab Makerspace

HexLab Makerspace is a community workshop giving people access to learn new crafts and use of their specialized tools. In addition to classes, they offer public access to 3-D printing, laser cutting, CNC machines, and many more amazing tools. HexLab’s mission is to provide students, tinkerers and inventors access to emerging technologies and a place where like-minded “makers” can come together. They’re entrepreneurs who help other entrepreneurs and inventors grow. They guide, educate, and consult – helping others turn their dream designs into physical realities.


UGENESIS is your beginning. Finally there is a place where you can go to get all components to start your business, and you can do it from the comfort of your home.  In an e-commerce style, you can shop around for every aspect of business you need, including: business set-up, permits, business licenses, design, print & promotional, construction, kiosk/vendor booth supply, equipment, uniforms & apparel, interior and exterior signage, photo-shoots, production services, web presence, social media design, trade show, conventions, converts, corporate mixers, team-building, walk/runs, family reunion, film/event locations, ticketed events, interior displays, custom art work, vehicle wrapping, and so much more. Whether you are starting your business for the first time from the ground-up, are looking to maximize your current business, cut your costs for your business, or are creating a franchising system for a business that you already have, UGENESIS has it all.

Startup Weekend – San Fernando Valley

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

V. Small Business Administration Information

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

SBDC’s mission is to build, sustain, and grow small businesses; as well as to promote small business development and enhance local economies by creating businesses and fulfilling its mission of creating jobs. The SBDCs, vital to SBA’s entrepreneurial outreach, have been providing service to small businesses for almost 35 years. It is one of the largest professional small business management and technical assistance networks in the nation. With over 900 locations across the country, SBDCs offer existing and future entrepreneurs free one-on-one expert business counseling and low-cost training by qualified small business professionals. In addition to its core services, the SBDCs offer special focus areas such as green business technology, disaster recovery and preparedness, export assistance, international trade assistance, veteran’s assistance, technology transfer and regulatory compliance. The Valley’s SBDCs are located in downtown Los Angeles, at:

Women’s Business Centers (WBC)

The SBA’s WBC is a network of over 100 community-based centers that provide business training, counseling, coaching, mentoring and other assistance geared toward women, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. They are partially funded through a cooperative agreement with the SBA. WBCs are located within non-profit host organizations that offer a wide variety of services in addition to the services provided by the WBC. Many of the WBCs also offer training and counseling and provide materials in different languages in order to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. WBCs often deliver their services through long-term training or group counseling, both of which have shown to be effective. WBC training courses are often free or are offered for a small fee. Some centers will also offer scholarships based on the client’s needs. While most WBCs are physically located in one designated location, a number of WBCs also provide courses and counseling via the Internet, mobile classrooms and satellite locations. Below are the Valley-located WBCs:

Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program

The HUBZone program helps small businesses located in distressed urban and rural communities gain access to federal set-aside contracts and sole source contracts, as well as a price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions. There is a statutory goal that HUBZone small business concerns be awarded not less than 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards. The HUBZone program also establishes preference for award of federal contracts to small businesses in these areas.

8(a) Business Development Program

This program is a nine-year program established to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to develop and grow their businesses. Business development assistance includes one-on-one counseling, training workshops, match-making opportunities with federal buyers and other management and technical guidance. There is a statutory requirement that small disadvantaged business concerns be awarded not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards. All firms that become eligible for SBA’s 8(a) business development assistance are also considered small disadvantaged business concerns for the purpose of federal contracting.

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)

Provide local, in-person counseling and training services for small business owners. They are designed to provide technical assistance to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, and/or local governments. PTAC services are available either free of charge, or at a nominal cost. PTACs are part of the Procurement Technical Assistance Program, which is administered by the Defense Logistics Agency. PTACs can help you identify and bid on a contract, and if you are awarded the contract, continue to provide you support through measuring your performance and helping with your contract audits.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Contract Program

A SDB is defined as a small business that is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. There is a federal government-wide goal of awarding at least 5 percent of prime contracting dollars to SDBs each year. Large prime contractors must also establish a 5 percent subcontracting goal for SDBs in their subcontracting plans which includes SBA 8(a) certified small businesses. Firms self-certify as SDB in the federal data base called the System for Award Management (SAM) without submitting any application to the SBA; however, firms approved by the SBA into the 8(a) Business Development Program are automatically certified as an SDB.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Contract Program

The SDVOSB program has a federal government-wide goal of awarding at least 3 percent of prime and subcontracting dollars to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses each year. Large prime contractors must also establish a subcontracting goal for SDVOSBs in their subcontracting plans. These subcontracting goals are reviewed at time of proposal by both the contracting officer and the SBA prior to the award of a contract.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Contract Program

The WOSB Federal Contract Program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) in industries where it has be determined WOSBs and EDWOSBs are underrepresented.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program

STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/ private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR’s most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

SBA Basic 7(a) Loans

The 7(a) Loan program is the SBA’s primary business loan program. It is the agency’s most frequently used non-disaster financial assistance program because of its flexibility in loan structure, variety of uses for the loan proceeds and availability. The program has broad eligibility requirements and credit criteria to accommodate a wide range of financing needs. The Basic 7(a) Loan is the most commonly provided type of SBA business loan based on historical dollars approved. They are the most flexible types of SBA loans because they can help finance such a large variety of business purposes for the largest number of business types, engaged in the widest spectrum of activities.

SBA Specialty Purpose 7(a) Loans

The Specialty Purpose 7(a) loan program is the most flexible of the SBA’s lending programs. Over time, the Agency has developed several variations of the Basic 7(a) Loan in order to address specific financing needs for particular types of small businesses or to give the lender greater flexibility with the loan’s structure. The general distinguishing feature between these loan types is their use of proceeds. These programs allow the proceeds to be used in ways that are not otherwise permitted in a basic 7(a) loan. These special purpose programs are not necessarily for all businesses but may be very useful to some small businesses. They are generally governed by the same rules, regulations, fees, interest rates, etc., as the basic 7(a) loan. Types of specialty purpose loans include:

  • International Trade Loan (ITL) – designed to help small businesses enter and expand into international markets or, when adversely affected by import competition, to make the investments necessary to better compete. The ITL offers a combination of fixed asset, working capital financing and debt refinancing with the SBA’s maximum guaranty–90 percent–on the total loan amount. The maximum loan amount is $5 million.
  • Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) – assists businesses exporters in meeting their short-term export working capital needs. Exporters can use the proceeds to make the products they will be exporting. They can also apply for such lines of credit prior to finalizing an export sale or contract. With an approved EWCP loan in place, exporters have greater flexibility in negotiating export payment terms—secure in the assurance that adequate financing will be in place when the export order is won.
  • CAPLines – this program for loans up to $5 million is designed to help small businesses meet their shortterm and cyclical working capital needs. The programs can be used to finance seasonal working capital needs; finance the direct costs of performing certain construction, service and supply contracts, subcontracts, or purchase orders; finance the direct cost associated with commercial and residential construction; or provide general working capital lines of credit. The maturity can be for up to 10 years except for the Builders Capline which is limited to 36 months after the first structure is completed. Guaranty percentages are the same as for a Basic 7(a) Loan.
  • SBAExpress Loan or Line of Credit – a flexible smaller loan up to $350,000 that a designated lender can provide to its borrower using mostly their own forms, analysis, and procedures to process, structure, service, and disburse this SBA-guaranteed loan. When structured as a term loan the proceeds and maturity are the same as a Basic 7(a) Loan. When structured as a revolving line of credit the requirements for the payment of interest and principal are at the discretion of the lender and maturity can’t exceed 7 years.
  • Export Express SBA’s Export Express loans offers flexibility and ease of use for both borrowers and lenders on loans up to $500,000. It is the simplest export loan product offered by the SBA.

SBA 504 Loans

The 504 Loan program is an economic development program that supports American small business growth and helps communities through business expansion and job creation. The 504 loan program provides long-term, fixedrate, subordinate mortgage financing for acquisition and/or renovation of capital assets including land, buildings and equipment. Some refinancing is also permitted. Most for-profit small businesses are eligible for this program. The types of businesses excluded from 7(a) loans (listed previously) are also excluded from the 504 loan program. The SBA’s 504 Certified Development Companies (CDC) serve their communities by financing business expansion needs. Their professional staff works directly with borrowers to tailor a financing package that meets program guidelines and the credit capacity of the borrower’s business. CDCs work with banks and other lenders to make loans in first position on reasonable terms, helping lenders retain growing customers and provide Community Reinvestment Act credit. Recent additions to the program allow $5.5 million for each project that reduces the borrower’s energy consumption by at least 10 percent; and $5.5 million for each project that generates renewable energy fuels, such as biodiesel or ethanol production. Projects eligible for up to $5.5 million under one of these two requirements do not have to meet the job creation or retention requirement, so long as the CDC portfolio reflects an average jobs-to-debenture portfolio ratio of at least 1 job per $65,000.

Here are the certified (Valley) development companies:

SBA Microloan Program (Loans Up to $50,000)

The Microloan program provides very small loans (up to $50,000) to women, low-income, minority, veteran, and other small business owners through a network of more than 100 Intermediaries nationwide. Under this program, the SBA makes funds available to nonprofit intermediaries that, in turn, make the small loans directly to start-up and existing businesses. Entrepreneurs work directly with the Intermediaries to receive financing, and business knowledge support. The proceeds of a microloan can be used for working capital, or the purchase of furniture, fixtures, supplies, materials, and/or equipment. Microloans may not be used for the purchase of real estate. Interest rates are negotiated between the borrower and the Intermediary. The maximum term for a microloan is six years.

The program also provides business-based training and technical assistance to micro-borrowers and potential micro-borrowers to help them successfully start or grow their businesses. Such training and technical assistance may include general business education, assistance with business planning, industry-specific training, and other types of training support.

Physical Disaster Loans

Physical Disaster Loans are the primary source of funding for permanent rebuilding and replacement of uninsured or underinsured disaster-caused damages to privately-owned real and/or personal property. SBA’s physical disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. Businesses and private, nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for a loan up to $2 million (actual loan amounts are based on the amount of uncompensated damage) to repair or replace real property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, inventory and leasehold improvements. A homeowner may apply for a loan of up to $200,000 to repair or replace the primary residence to its pre-disaster condition. Homeowners or renters may apply for a loan up to $40,000 to help repair or replace personal property, such as clothing, furniture or automobiles, lost in the disaster. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of physical loss as verified by SBA to make improvements that protect the property from similar future disasters.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide the necessary working capital after a declared disaster until normal operations resume. Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture (fisheries, for example) and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes are eligible for EIDL assistance, regardless of whether there was any physical damage. The loan limit is $2 million. The EIDL helps small businesses meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses as they recover from a disaster. The limit for physical and EIDL loans combined is $2 million.

Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loan is a working capital loan for small businesses facing financial loss when the owner or an essential employee is called up to active duty in their role as a military reservist. The loan limit is $2 million and the business can use the funds to cover operating expenses until the essential employee or business owner is released from active duty.

The Surety Bond Guarantee Program

This program is a public-private partnership between the Federal government and surety companies to provide small businesses with the bonding assistance necessary for them to compete for public and private contracting and subcontracting opportunities. The guarantee provides an incentive for sureties to bond small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding. The program is aimed at small businesses that lack the working capital or performance track record necessary to secure bonding on a reasonable basis through regular commercial channels. Through this program, the SBA guarantees bid, payment, performance and ancillary bonds issued by surety companies for individual contracts and subcontracts up to $6.5 million. The SBA reimburses sureties between 70 and 90 percent of losses sustained if a contractor defaults on the contract. Participating Prior Approval (Valley) Surety Companies for the Valley include:

  • Hudson Insurance Company – 23901 Calabasas Rd., Ste. 1085, Calabasas, CA 91302
  • Canaan Insurance Agency – 6520 Platt Ave., Ste. 840, West Hills, CA 91307
  • Contractors Best Insurance Services, Inc. – 20335 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 426A, Woodland Hills CA 91364
  • Noddle Surety & Insurance Services, Inc. – 19507 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana CA 91356
  • Preferred Bonding Services – 1800 McCollum St., Los Angeles CA 90026
  • American Contractors Indemnity CO – 601 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 1600, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program

SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA, that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses. The funds raise private capital and can receive SBA-guaranteed leverage up to three times private capital, with a leverage ceiling of $150 million per SBIC and $225 million for two or more licenses under common control. Licensed SBICs are for-profit investment firms whose incentive is to share in the success of a small business. The U.S. Small Business Administration does not invest directly into small business through the SBIC Program, but provides funding through SBA guarantee debentures to qualified investment management firms with expertise in certain sectors or industries.

SBA – Los Angeles District Office

For more information about all SBA programs and financing opportunities specifically for the Los Angeles area, the district office is located at:

  • 330 North Brand, Suite 1200, Glendale, CA 91203

VI. Energy and Environmental Incentives

US Department of Energy (DOE)

DOE has numerous grant opportunities for energy businesses in the areas of energy research, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Grant deadlines for programs vary.

Department of Treasury Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit

This program provides tax credits on the installation of alternative energy systems. Eligibility: bioenergy, commercial heating and cooling, manufacturing, alternative fuel vehicles, hydrogen and fuel cells, water, wind, solar, weatherization, heating and cooling, water heating.

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit & Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit

Businesses that install new electricity-generating renewable energy systems after December 31, 2008 can choose the federal energy investment tax credit or the federal production tax credit. The Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction Program provides a federal tax deduction for installation of interior lighting, building envelopes or heating and cooling systems to achieve energy savings.

Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

The Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction Program provides a federal tax deduction for installation of interior lighting, building envelopes or heating and cooling systems to achieve energy savings.

Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

A federal tax credit of up to $4,000 is available for consumers who purchase a qualified light-duty fuel cell vehicle.

Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

A federal tax credit between $2,500 and $7,500 is available for consumers who purchase a new, qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle after December 31, 2009.

Property Tax Exclusion For Solar Energy Systems

California provides property tax exclusion for certain types of solar energy systems installed on “new construction” between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2016.

Go Solar California

Go Solar California is a state energy campaign that builds on over 10 years of solar rebates offered to customers that fall within California’s three investor-owned utility territories: Pacific Gas & Electric; Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. For more detail see the Utility Incentive section of this report.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program

The Electric Vehicle Charging Station program through CalCAP, provides finance incentives to both lenders and borrowers for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations at California businesses. CalCAP provides rebates to borrowers who participate, and may provide lenders with up to 100% coverage on certain loan defaults.

Energy Efficiency Financing Program

The California Energy Commission provides loans on projects that have proven energy and/or capacity savings.

California Energy Commission Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program

Also established by the California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007, the Energy Commission Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program has an annual program budget of approximately $100 million to support projects (through grants, loans, loan guarantees, revolving loans, etc.) that:

  • Develop and improve alternative and renewable low-carbon fuels
  • Optimize alternative and renewable fuels for existing and developing engine technologies
  • Produce alternative and renewable low-carbon fuels in California
  • Decrease, on a full fuel cycle basis, the overall impact and carbon footprint of alternative and renewable fuels and increase sustainability
  • Expand fuel infrastructure, fueling stations, and equipment
  • Improve light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle technologies
  • Retrofit medium- and heavy-duty on-road and non-road vehicle fleets
  • Expand infrastructure connected with existing fleets, public transit, and transportation corridors
  • Establish workforce training programs, conduct public education and promotion, and create technology center

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

SGIP is a peak-load reduction program that incentivizes the development and commercialization of new, existing and emerging distributed energy resources by providing rebates for qualified distributed energy systems installed on the customer’s side of the utility meter. Eligibility for participation in the SGIP is now based on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Eligible technologies include wind turbines, fuel cells, organic rankine cycle/waste heat capture, pressure reduction turbines, advanced energy storage, and combined heat and power gas turbines, micro-turbines, and internal combustion engines. The program no longer supports solar photovoltaic technologies – these were moved under the purview of the California Solar Initiative in 2006.

California Air Resources Board Air Quality Improvement Program

The Air Quality Improvement Program— established by the California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007—is a voluntary incentive program administered by the California Air Resources Board to fund clean vehicle and equipment projects, research on biofuels production and the air quality impacts of alternative fuels, and workforce training. Currently, the California Air Resources Board offers the following Air Quality Improvement Programs:

Energy Innovations Small Grant Program

The Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program provides up to $95,000 for hardware projects and $50,000 for modeling projects to small businesses, non-profits, individuals and academic institutions to conduct research that establishes the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts.

Research projects must target one of the specified R&D areas, address a California energy problem and provide a potential benefit to California electric and natural gas ratepayers.

Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)

EPIC is the state’s premier energy research, development and deployment program for the advancement of science and technology in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced electricity technologies, energy related environmental protection, transmission and distribution, as well as transportation technologies.

Self-Generation Incentive Program

The California Public Utilities Commission Self Generation Incentive Program provides up-front and performance-based incentives for technologies that achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions and serve a project’s on-site electric load.

Alternative & Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program

This program provides financial incentives (as much as $100 million annually through competitive grants, loans, loan guarantees, revolving loans, and other appropriate measures or means) for businesses, vehicle and technology manufacturers, workforce training partners, fleet owners, consumers and academic institutions to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels, as well as advanced transportation technologies that help the state meet its policy objectives on climate change.

Hybrid & Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)

The Incentive Project is designed to accelerate California’s deployment of new hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses. Air Resources Board (ARB) has teamed with CALSTART to implement this first-come, first-served program. The HVIP Implementation Manual defines the roles and responsibilities of ARB, CALSTART, vehicle dealers and vehicle purchasers in project implementation. ARB must approve hybrid truck and bus models for them to become eligible for the program. This program is a component of the AB118 program.

The Air Quality Improvement Program / Clean Rebate Projects

Clean Rebate Project is intended to encourage and accelerate zero emission vehicle deployment and technology innovation. Rebates range from $900 for zero-emission motorcycles and neighborhood electric vehicles to $1,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and $2,500 for full function zero emission vehicles.

The Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program

This program provides grant funding for cleaner-than-required engines and equipment. Grants are administered by local air quality management districts. The program focuses on cleaning the air by replacing older heavy-duty diesels with electric, alternative-fuel, or cleaner diesel technologies.

Loan Assistance for California Equipment Program

The California Air Resources Board has developed innovative financing programs to provide fleet owners, particularly small business owners, easier access to loan opportunities. The ARB’s loan programs offer several options to increase financing accessibility including loans, loan guarantees and other mechanisms to assist industries affected by ARB regulations.

Pollution Control Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program

The California Pollution Control financing Authority (CPCFA) provides tax-exempt bond financing for pollution control projects. The Tax-Exempt Bond Financing Program provides California businesses assistance with acquisition or construction of qualified pollution control, waste disposal, waste recovery facilities and the acquisition and installation of new equipment.

As a “conduit issuer” of tax-exempt private activity bonds, CPCFA is able to facilitate low cost financing to qualified waste and recycling projects. Projects that control pollution may qualify for tax-exempt financing as allowed by federal tax law. Examples of recent assistance include projects to purchase clean-air vehicles by waste companies, recyclers of used oil, animal waste conversions to clean burning fuel, and construction and demolition debris recycling programs.

CPCFA works with participating financial institutions to assist small business with loans of up to $2.5 million. CPCFA also assists with the clean-up of contaminated sites through a $60 million grant and loan program as well as a site-assessment loan program.

Recycling Market Development Zones Revolving Loan Program

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) administers a Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) Loan Program to encourage recycling businesses located within California to locate new manufacturing facilities as well as expand existing operations. The program provides low-interest rate loans for the purchase of equipment and qualifying business expenses.

Beverage Container Recycling Grants (CalRecycle)

CalRecycle provides grant funding to projects that implement new or enhance existing programs that provide convenient beverage container recycling opportunities in various locations statewide. Eligible projects include: bars and restaurants, colleges, universities, schools, community events, entertainment and hospitality venues, fitness centers, multifamily dwellings, office buildings, parks and recreational areas as well as sporting complexes and facilities. The program provides up to $100,000 for preliminary endangerment assessments and up to $2.5 million for clean up or removal of hazardous waste for redevelopment.

Cleanup Loans and Environmental Assistance to Neighborhoods (CLEAN) Loan Program

The Cleanup Loans and Environmental Assistance to Neighborhoods Loan Program provides low interest rate loans to finance environmental assessments and hazardous waste cleanup activities of designated Brownfields and underutilized urban properties.

Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Program

This program provides low-interest rate loans between $200,000 and $900,000 for financing cleanup activities of sites by eligible public or private property owners including government agencies, private property owners as well as non-profit organizations.

Multi-Family Affordable Solar Housing Program (MASH)

The MASH Program is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and provides incentives to qualifying affordable housing within the service territories of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). MASH provides fixed, up front, capacity-based incentives for qualifying solar energy systems. The amount of the incentive depends on which Track (1C or 1D) the applicant is eligible for.

Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing Program (SASH)

The CSI Single-family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program provides fully subsidized 1 kW systems to very low-income households, and highly subsidized systems to other low-income households. GRID Alternatives, a non-profit solar organization, manages the $108 million SASH Program overseen by the CPUC.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE)

Within Energy Upgrade California, several (PACE) programs have appeared at the local level for commercial projects, allowing commercial property owners to fund energy efficiency projects over time on their property tax bill.

Natural Gas Rate Reduction – SoCalGas

Southern California Gas Company offers natural gas at discounted rates to customers fueling natural gas vehicles.

Natural Gas Rate Reduction – Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison offers a discounted rate to customers for electricity used to charge EVs. Two rate schedules are available for EV charging during on- and off-peak hours.

Coulomb Technologies ChargePoint America

Program offers electric vehicle supply equipment (i.e., chargers) at no cost to individuals or entities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. To be eligible for a public or commercial charging system, an entity must be located within the specified metropolitan areas and in “high use” areas, and provide public access to the charging system. Companies and municipalities may apply on the ChargePoint America Web site. Some utilities will provide funding towards installation costs.

ECOtality, The EV Project

Through the EV Project, ECOtality offers electric vehicle supply equipment at no cost to individuals in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. To be eligible for free home charging stations, individuals living within the specified areas must purchase a qualified electric vehicle. The EV Project incentive program will also cover most, if not all, installation costs.

VII. Local Utility Information, Programs, and Incentives

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP)

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal water and power utility in the nation, was established more than 100 years ago to deliver reliable, safe water and electricity to 3.8 million residents and businesses in Los Angeles. LADWP provides its 666,000 water customers and 1.4 million electric customers with quality service at competitive prices. If you are business in the City of Los Angeles or are planning to have your business here, LADWP has quite a few incentives and programs available – many of them listed below. But for more information on even more of their services, please visit their website.

LADWP – The Commercial Lighting Incentive Program (CLIP)

The Commercial Lighting Incentive Program offers incentives to help make a wide variety of high-performance ramps and lighting fixtures cost-effective, and targets any size business that still utilizes standard fixtures. CLIP is designed to be consistent with California’s statewide lighting programs, leveraging established contractor networks to offer non-residential customers a full suite of lighting products and services to improve the energy efficiency in their businesses by upgrading/retrofitting core lighting systems. CLIP’s calculated savings approach allows customers to tailor lighting efficiency upgrades to better meet their lighting needs and attain greater energy savings.

LADWP – Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance Program (EETAP)

Designed for commercial, industrial and institutional customers, this program was developed to assist LADWP customers in closing the gap between project development and implementation. By providing incentives for energy auditing and project management services, LADWP aims to help its customers to strategically plan, follow through, and realize energy savings in the most cost-effective manner.

LADWP – Custom Performance Program (CPP)

The Custom Performance Program offers incentives for energy saving measures not covered by other LADWP non-residential energy efficiency programs. These involve more advanced, high efficiency technologies and innovative energy saving strategies that meet or exceed code, or minimum industry standards. Examples include equipment controls, industrial processes, high efficiency HVAC and chillers, hotel guest room controls, variable frequency drives, and other high efficiency technologies.

LADWP – Retrocommissioning (RCx) Program

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®) are working together to offer incentives for bringing commercial buildings back to their optimal performance levels using 13 common controls and schedule-based measures. If you are a customer of LADWP and own a business, or represent a non-residential customer, the RCx program can help you reduce your electricity bills and the cost of building operations.

LADWP – Savings By Design (SBD)

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®) are working together to offer incentives designed to benefit owners and developers of new commercial buildings. This is a statewide approach, which offers a multi-faceted program designed to consistently serve the needs of the building community throughout California. SBD encourages energy- efficient building design and construction practices, promoting the efficient use of energy by offering up- front design assistance supported by financial incentives based on project performance. Projects participating in SBD receive services including design assistance, Owners Incentives, Design Team Incentives, and Energy Design Resources.

LADWP – New Construction Incentive Program

LADWP’s non-residential new construction incentive program is being revised in light of the recent changes to California’s energy code, Title 24. This program will only offer incentives for projects which do not meet the Savings By Design (SBD) requirements. This program is similar to SBD offerings; however, LADWP will provide incentives for projects exceeding Title 24 requirements by 10% or greater and are past the design phase. We anticipate having the revised program in place in the coming months.

LADWP – Food Service Program

The Food Service program offers incentives to encourage retrofit measures and technologies to reduce energy consumption in supermarkets, liquor stores, convenience stores, restaurants, etc. Rebates are offered for commercial food appliances and refrigerator cases, ice machines, reach-in freezers/refrigerators, display cases, walk-in coolers, etc., as well as other refrigeration equipment.

LADWP – Small Business Direct Install (SBDI) Program

Open to A-1 rate class business electric customers in good standing, whose average monthly electrical demand is 30 kilowatts (kW) or less. A trained Energy Service Representative (ESR) will visit your business to identify areas where you can save energy and water. If you agree with the recommendations, our representative will have you sign an authorization form, and an appointment to install the equipment will be scheduled at a time most convenient for you. Energy and water saving measures include: energy efficient lighting and lamps, LED exit signs, pipe and water heater insulation, pre-rinse spray valves, low- flow showerheads, faucet aerators and low-flow toilets. This program is offered in partnership with Southern California Gas Company.

LADWP – Solar Incentive Program (SIP)

This program provides incentives to both residential and non-residential customers who lease or purchase solar systems for installation on their property. The current incentive level for the residential program is $0.40/watt and $.70/watt for the non-residential program. In addition, the programs allows for a higher incentive for non-profit agencies as well as educational institutions. The resulting incentive is calculated based upon the estimated annual production of the installed system.

LADWP – Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

The FiT Program will allow the LADWP to partner with program participants to purchase, under a standard power purchase contract, energy generated from a participant’s renewable energy generating system. These systems will be located within the LADWP’s service territory and interconnected to the LADWP electrical distribution system.

LADWP – Commercial Water Conservation Rebate Program (SaveWater SaveABuck)

The Commercial Water Conservation Rebate Program offers rebates for menu-based measures purchased and installed by commercial/industrial/institutional customers. Rebates are offered for items such as Ultra Low Water Urinals, High Efficiency Toilets, Weather Based Irrigation Controllers, Cooling Tower Conductivity Controllers, etc.

LADWP – Commercial Free Showerhead & Aerator Program

The Water Conservation Group provides commercial, industrial and multifamily owners free low-flow Showerheads, Kitchen, and Bathroom faucet aerators which are distributed through the Water Conservation Group’s office. For delivery of free equipment please call (800) 544-4498.

LADWP – Water Conservation Technical Assistance Program

The Technical Assistance Program offers incentives to assist business customers in implementing water conservation projects. TAP incentives are available to commercial, industrial, institutional, and multifamily customers installing pre-approved water conservation measures including equipment, devices, products, fixtures, and technologies of a permanent nature. The financial incentive is calculated at the rate of $1.75 per 1,000 gallons of water saved over a period of two years (minimum of 50,000 gallon savings required); the incentive is limited to the installed cost of the project or $250,000 per customer facility, whichever is less. Proposed projects are first evaluated to ascertain feasibility, cost and savings. Incentives are paid after project installation and verified operation.

LADWP – Commercial/Industrial Drought Resistant Landscape Incentive Program

Offers up to $1.00 sqft turf removed and replaced with drought resistant landscape, permeable paths, mulch, and low volume irrigation (drip water system). This program may require a pre and/or post inspection.

Southern California Edison (SCE)

SCE is an investor-owned utility, offering a number of programs to help qualifying businesses reduce energy usage and lower electricity costs, including:

  • SCE’s energy efficiency programs offer financial incentives for the installation of new high- efficiency equipment or systems.
  • Demand response programs provide financial incentives for voluntary energy reduction.
  • SCE customers can receive financial incentives for going solar through the California Solar Initiative.
  • “Savings by Design” offers financial incentives for constructing or retrofitting high performance, energy efficient buildings.
  • SCE offers economic development rates to qualifying, at-risk businesses considering leaving the state of California.

If you’re in the City of Calabasas, City of San Fernando, or in a Los Angeles unincorporated area, find more information on the SCE website.

Southern California Gas Company (SocCalGas)

SoCalGas offers efficiency programs for business including:

Glendale Department of Water and Power (GWP)

The City of Glendale utilizes their own water and power source, and provides many some great incentives for its businesses and residents.

Burbank Department of Water and Power (BWP)

The City of Burbank also utilizes their own water and power source, and provides many great incentives for its businesses and residents.

CB&I – Free Energy Audits

If you’re already a business in the Valley and want to make sure you’re getting all the incentives and rebates available for all your utilities, CB&I will come to your business for free and provide you with an energy audit. There’s no catch – CB&I is getting paid by other major utility companies to give the audits. Here are just a few examples of what they can do for you:

  • Lighting – they will make sure you have the most up-to-date energy-efficient lighting in your facility, and if not they will change them out for you for free.
  • Appliances Replacements – do you use sprayer nozzles? Door gaskets? Strip curtains for walk-ins? Some of these actually can be replaced for free or there is a rebate for them!
  • Energy Efficiency – if you’ve been thinking about upgrading to an energy-efficient appliance, there are very big rebates available for these.
  • Gas and Water – they also make sure that you are up-to-date on all programs and incentives available for both.
  • Total Efficiency Plans – if you’ve ever thought about making your whole building more energy efficient, CB&I will come and develop a plan to fit your whole building with the best equipment available. This includes water heaters, A/C units, pipelines, gas lines, and many other major costly items that will end up saving you lots of money.


VIII. Recruitment, Training & Customized Employment Programs

California Employment Development Department (EDD)

EDD is one of the largest state departments with employees at hundreds of service locations throughout the state and offers a wide variety of services to millions of Californians under the Job Service, Unemployment Insurance (UI), State Disability Insurance (SDI), Workforce Investment, and Labor Market Information programs. As California’s largest tax collection agency, EDD also handles the audit and collection of payroll taxes and maintains employment records for more than 17 million California workers. EDD helps employers and job seekers by:

  • Assisting California employers with their labor needs.
  • Helping California job seekers obtain employment.
  • Administering the federally-funded workforce investment programs for adults, dislocated workers, and youth.
  • Assisting disadvantaged recipients in becoming self-sufficient.
  • Helping unemployed and disabled workers through the administration of the UI and SDI programs.
  • Supporting state activities and benefit programs by collecting and administering employment-related taxes (UI, DI, Employment Training Tax, and Personal Income Tax withholding).

For more than 70 years, the EDD has connected millions of job seekers and employers in an effort to build the economy of the Golden State.

America’s Job Centers (AJCs) of California

Need help finding quality employees for your business? There are America’s Job Centers (formerly known as WorkSource Centers) located all over the Valley that have the trained workforce you need to grow your business. You will also find multiple incentives for businesses at these centers, including on-the-job training programs for new and incumbent employees, training and staff development, retention assistance, family services, workforce resources, as well as interview and conference rooms if your facility does not have one. Valley AJCs include:

Employment Training Panel (ETP)

The California Employment Training Panel (ETP) is a state agency that provides funding to help employers provide training and skill development for incumbent employees and unemployed individuals. For incumbent workers, companies can quality for ETP funds to retrain workers whose jobs are threatened by out-of-state competition. Priority industries for ETP funding, include manufacturing, construction, green technology, distribution and transportation logistics, technical services, multimedia/entertainment, information technology, biotechnology and life sciences and agriculture. Annually, the ETP announces the amount of funds available along with application procedures and deadlines for the upcoming fiscal year.

ETP – No More Barriers Program

ETP is currently providing priority funding and outreach for training Individuals With Disabilities (IWD), under its current Job Creation Program. It will also offer the same wage/rate as Job Creation. ETP will partner with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) to reach employers that have made a commitment to hiring IWD workers. This includes employers holding federal contracts that must now comply with requirements for hiring IWD due to recent changes in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. DOR estimates there are some 20,000 such employers in California, including Small Business. Because No More Barriers is an initiative falling under JC Guidelines into Job Creation, it will only be applicable to Single Employer Contractors. Also, the “newly hired” eligibility criteria will apply for IWD trainees although the designation of a qualifying disability will be left up to the employer. ETP will also fund training for incumbent workers in topics related to Section 503 Compliance, under the same contract; however, standard program criteria for retraining will apply.

ETP – Certified Safety Training

Three certified training programs with specific safety content are approved for ETP funding: OSHA 10/30, HAZWOPER, and HAZMAT. All hours of CBT or classroom training are approved for funding as required to obtain or retain certification. Although field work may be a requirement for certification – no field work will be funded by ETP.

ETP – Apprenticeship Training

Has your company ever considered hiring apprentices, pre-apprentices, or journeymen? ETP’s Apprenticeship Training program will reimburse qualified employers for the time spent training these particular individuals. Apprentices are reimbursed as Class/Lab with a special rate of $13 per hour (Priority Industry Rate of $18 minus $5 Montoya) – there is no Computer Based Training (CBT) rate for Apprentices. Pre-Apprentices and Journeymen training are reimbursed as Class/Lab with a blended rate of $22 per hour. CBT is also allowed at $8 per hour. The main requirement is a specific retention time of 500 hours within 272 days with multiple employers (rather than 90 consecutive days with a single employer).

California’s Veterans (CALVET)

California’s returning veterans present a strategic hiring advantage that sets the State apart. California is home to approximately 2 million Veterans – more than any other state in the nation. Coupled with federal incentives (such as the VOW to Hire Heroes Act), returning veterans in California provide a strategic opportunity for companies seeking to take advantage of a workforce that is already skilled in advanced military applications and given California’s military significance, is arguably one of the most trained and educated to ever exit from military service.

Special Employer Incentives (SEI) for Hiring Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program provides eligible Veterans an opportunity to obtain training and practical hands‐on experience concurrently through the SEI program. The SEI program is for eligible Veterans who face challenges in obtaining Employment.

Employers who hire veterans receive:

  • Reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the Veteran’s salary during the SEI program, which typically lasts up to 6 months, to cover:
    • Expenses incurred for cost of instruction
    • Necessary loss of production due to training status
    • Supplies and equipment necessary to complete training
  • VA‐provided tools, equipment, uniforms and other supplies
  • Appropriate accommodations based on individual needs of the Veteran
  • The advantage of minimal paperwork to participate
  • VA support during training and placement follow‐up phase to assist with work or training‐related needs

Joint Venture Program (JVP)

JVP provides vocational training opportunities to inmates within California’s correctional settings and it offers businesses attractive benefits for employing them. These individuals gain enhanced job skills, which allow them to return more successfully to the community as productive citizens after serving their time. A very successful correctional rehabilitation program, the JVP has a recidivism rate of 9%.

The JVP helps these individuals return more successfully to society as productive citizens after serving their time. The Joint Venture Program offers participating businesses:

  • Long term leases at below market rates ($0.02/sq.ft.)
  • A 50% discount on Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • No employee benefit packages required (medical, vacation, sick leave, etc.)
  • State tax credits
  • A reliable, motivated labor force ready to work immediately
  • Available space in locations throughout California
  • Companies can feature “Made in the USA” label

IX. Business Consulting Centers and Local Networking Opportunities

The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA)

TVEA (the organization whom created this guide) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit strategic private-public collaborative made up of businesses, government, education and community organizations whose mission is to elevate the economic vitality and stability of our five-city region – Burbank, Calabasas, Glendale, Los Angeles, and San Fernando. One of TVEA’s core programs is its Business Assistance Program, which connects businesses to the resources and leadership of the Valley – all at no cost to the business. Some examples of areas TVEA can assist a business in are:

  • Permits
  • Expansion
  • Financing
  • Site Selection
  • Energy Costs
  • Tax Credits and Incentives
  • Economic Data
  • Recruitment
  • Employee Training
  • Global Opportunities
  • ADA Compliance

When it comes to business, everyone knows it’s all about who you know – and TVEA knows many great resources that will take care of your business. Reach out today for your no cost, one-on-one consultation to figure out some ways to cut your costs and increase your sales!

Los Angeles Economic Development Center (LAEDC)

The LAEDC is a private, non-profit 501c3 with a public-benefit mission.  They believe L.A. County’s future prosperity is about our people. It’s about parents looking across the dinner table, knowing they are able to provide for their families. It’s about students learning the skills the right skills to build careers in growing industries. And it’s about job creation, which sets a foundation for healthy families and thriving equitable communities.  At the LAEDC, they work to make all these things happen.

They serve the county’s 10 million people of the county’s 88 cities and 100+ unincorporated communities through their free business assistance and attraction programs, economic research and analysis, real estate advisory services, trade and investment assistance, and public policy leadership. LAEDC looks ahead to support emerging growth and innovation industries that will create the jobs of tomorrow and give critical support to the key industry clusters driving L.A. today.  And they continually improve our region’s ability to compete and succeed globally.

Chambers of Commerce

If you need help getting to know the businesses and people of the Valley – joining a Chamber of Commerce (COC) will get you started on the right foot. Each one will not only help you network with other businesses in that area, but also assist you in finding any resources you need to start and/or grow your business.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Go-Biz was created by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to serve as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, facilitation through of regulatory compliance, small business assistance, international trade development, and assistance with state programs as well as coordination with local and regional agencies. GO-Biz includes the following:

  • California Business Investment Services (Cal-BIS)
    • The Cal-BIS Unit is comprised of a team of business development experts and specialists with in-depth insight on available resources, ongoing initiatives, and government programs that provide direct technical and financial assistance to companies interested in either locating or expanding in California.
    • Cal-BIS provides a wide array of research, consultation and facilitation services involving the application of state resources and programs, coordination with regional and local agencies, information on labor, tax credits, tax exemptions, state permits and legislative action to the benefit of commercial business enterprises and new job creators.
  • International Affairs & Trade Development
    • The GO-Biz international business unit is the State’s primary point of contact for expanding California’s international business. It functions to boost international trade through marketing support, attention to policy barriers and support for airport, seaport, and ground transportation projects proving California as the nation’s leading international gateway. It also functions to attract and support new foreign investment into the state in conjunction with Cal-BIS and the Federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. This unit is also responsible for operation of California’s foreign trade office in Shanghai, China.
  • Office of the Small Business Advocate
    • The Small Business unit serves as the primary advocate and resource provider for assistance to California’s small business community. The unit provides educational services on issues that directly affect small businesses and conducts direct advocacy on behalf of small business owners. The small business unit works in collaboration with state departments and agencies to manage interagency projects that promote regulatory compliance, outreach and assistance. The Unit facilitates resources for technical assistance, financial assistance as well as state procurement opportunities.
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
    • The Innovation and Entrepreneurship unit is the state’s primary point of contact for promoting California’s innovation infrastructure. It functions to develop an environment encouraging entrepreneurship, promotes long term economic growth and facilitates job creation through innovation. It also serves to convene key stakeholders necessary to support GO-Biz activities throughout the state as well as stimulate entrepreneurship and the development of California’s innovation workforce. This unit is primarily responsible for the administration of California’s Innovation Hub (iHub) Program.
  • Permit Assistance
    • The Permit Assistance unit provides comprehensive permit and regulatory compliance assistance statewide for businesses in California by serving as the central source of permit guidance. The Permit Assistance unit also works with local and regional permitting agencies to provide permit identification and regulatory compliance assistance at the local level. The team will also act as a neutral facilitator between state regulatory agencies and businesses to resolve permitting issues. A project specialist may be assigned to personally guide an applicant through the permit process and will assist new business owners to identify all necessary permits required to start a new or to expand an existing business. The unit schedules pre-application meetings between businesses and the appropriate regulatory agencies to help streamline the permitting process. The services provided by the Permit Assistance unit are confidential and free of charge.
    • The on-line permit assistance website provides a listing of required, federal, state and local permits, webpage links, addresses, application forms and phone numbers.

Universities and Colleges

The universities and community colleges in the Valley typically have an economic development office or officer who can discuss a variety of customized training programs and potential incentives. Since incentives and programs change per institution, please check with individual colleges to see what programs and services may apply to your specific industry or business.


SCORE is a national network of more than 11,000 entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives who volunteer as mentors to America’s small businesses. SCORE volunteers donated more than 1.1 million hours providing services to small business clients. SCORE leverages decades of experience from seasoned business professionals to help entrepreneurs to start and grow companies and to create jobs in local communities. SCORE does this by harnessing the passion and knowledge of individuals who have owned and managed their own businesses and want to share this “real world” expertise with you. For the Los Angeles area, SCORE’s regional office is located at 330 N. Brand Blvd., Ste. 190 Glendale, CA 91203.

The National Association of Women Business Owners – Los Angeles (NAWBO-LA)

The NAWBO-LA is one of the organization’s leading and innovative chapters since its beginnings in 1979. The mission of NAWBO-LA is to propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power by: strengthening the wealth creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community; creating innovative and effective changes in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers.

Founded in 2000, the NAWBO-LA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) institution dedicated to accelerating initiatives that promote women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. We accomplish this by: supporting programs and initiatives that propel women entrepreneurs into positions of leadership and power; disseminating information and knowledge through research and education; and working with the business community to build a legacy for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Closest office to the Valley: 515 S. Flower St., 36th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center – Los Angeles, is operated by the University of Southern California (USC) in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, Mayor’s Office of Economic & Business Policy (OEBP).  They work throughout the Nation to link minority-owned businesses with the capital, contracts, and markets they need to grow. They advocate and promote minority-owned business with elected officials, policy makers, and business leaders. Serving as subject matter experts and advocates for the minority business community, MBDA conducts high quality research and cultivates domestic and international relationships.

The Los Angeles agency is one center with two locations, and is a part of the national network of over 40 MBDA Business Centers, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency. The MBDA Business Center-Los Angeles offices are located at University of Southern California and at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Closest office to the Valley: 2801 South Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90089


In collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Business Source and SET, ICON CDC offers free training and assistance to small business owners seeking to improve their operation and profitability in order to succeed, grow and remain competitive and services for local entrepreneurs interested in starting a new business. Their services include: skill-building workshops, access to capital, credit counseling, licensing and permits, and business and marketing plan development.

California Manufacturing Technology Center (CMTC)

CMTC offers a wide range of high quality, professional consulting services in the following areas:

  • Information Technology
  • Strategic Business Planning
  • Lean Enterprise
  • Quality Management and Manufacturing
  • Lean Hospital / Lean Physician Office Space
  • Lean Logistics and Warehousing


Los Angeles Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

PTAC provides workshops and training for businesses on selling goods and services to the County, the State and the federal government. It also provides information on certifying your business and other technical assistance. Its website provides links to information on licenses and permits required when starting a business, upcoming events, and how to register to be a County, State, and/or Federal vendor.

X. Valley Government and Advocacy

Federal House of Representatives – California

Federal Senators

  • Barbara Boxer
    • Closest Office to the Valley: 312 N. Spring St, Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Dianne Feinstein
    • Closest Office to the Valley: 11111 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 915 , Los Angeles, CA 90025

California State Assembly

California State Senate

  • District 18 – Robert Hertzberg
    • Areas: City of Burbank, Arleta, Granada Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, and City of San Fernando.
  • District 27 – Fran Pavley
    • Areas: City of Calabasas, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Northridge, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Tarzana, West Hills, Woodland Hills.
  • District 25 – Carol Liu
    • Areas: City of Burbank and City of Glendale.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

  • District 3 – Sheila Kuehl
    • Areas: Arleta, Canoga Park, City of Calabasas, Chatsworth (portion), Encino, Hollywood (portion), Lake Balboa, Mission Hills (portion), North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, City of San Fernando, Studio City, Sun Valley (portion), Sunland (portion), Sylmar (portion), Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Warner Center, West Hills, West Los Angeles, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, and Universal City.
  • District 5 – Michael Antonovich
    • Areas: City of Burbank, Canoga Park (portion), Chatsworth (portion), City of Glendale, Granada Hills, Mission Hills (portion), Porter Ranch, Sunland (portion), Sun Valley (portion), and Tujunga.

Los Angeles City Council

Burbank City Council

  • Bob Frutos, Mayor
  • Jess Talamantes, Vice Mayor
  • Emily Gabel-Luddy, Councilmember
  • Dr. David Gordon, Councilmember
  • Will Rogers, Councilmember

Glendale City Council

  • Ara Najarian, Mayor
  • Paula Devine, Councilmember
  • Laura Friedman, Councilmember
  • Zareh Sinanyan, Councilmember
  • Vartan Gharpetian, Councilmember

Calabasas City Council

  • Mary Sue Maurer, Mayor
  • Lucy M. Martin, Mayor pro Tem
  • Fred Gaines, Councilmember
  • James R. Bozajian, Councilmember
  • David J. Shapiro, Councilmember

San Fernando City Council

  • Joel Fajardo, Mayor
  • Sylvia Ballin, Vice Mayor
  • Antonio Lopez, Councilmember
  • Robert C. Gonzales, Councilmember
  • Jaime Soto, Councilmember

Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA)

VICA is widely considered one of the most influential business advocacy organizations in Southern California. With its knowledge of the legislative process and economic issues, VICA’s access to public officials ensures that the San Fernando Valley’s business perspective will be heard in the interest of improving our business climate and quality of life. With input and guidance from its members, VICA maintains a regular presence at all levels of government to effectively represent Valley businesses.

Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed)

With more than 145 business organizations representing 272,000 employers with 3 million employees throughout LA County, BizFed is a massive, diverse grassroots alliance that advocates for policies and projects that strengthen LA’s regional economy. As a united federation, business leaders in LA County are able to more efficiently collaborate and mobilize to advance a shared agenda on local, regional, state and national issues. BizFed members are force multipliers who mobilize and empower their communities to take action on policies and projects that affect our economy. BizFed provides high-level access to key policy makers, elected officials, and thought leaders. They engage influencers in substantive dialogue, partner with them on developing and implementing solutions, and hold them accountable for successful outcomes. BizFed leadership meets regularly with elected officials at all levels ensuring our members’ priorities are defining the issues that our leaders tackle. Leveraging our power in numbers, thoughtfully exploring all sides of critical issues, and taking action, their alliance is making a real difference for business growth, job creation, and economic vitality in Southern California.

Neighborhood Councils

Many people are looking for ways to make a difference in their communities on the issues they care about most: crime, roads and streets, gangs and the economy. Neighborhood Council participants are empowered to advocate directly for real change in their communities. These Councils consist of residents, business owners, and property owners.

  • Woodland Hills – Warner Center
    • 2nd Wednesdays, 6:30pm
    • Woodland Hills Academy, 20800 Burbank, Woodland Hills, 91367
  • West Hills
    • 1st Thursdays, 7:00pm
    • de Toledo High School, 22622 Vanowen St, West Hills, 91307
  • Chatsworth
    • 1st Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • Lawrence Middle School, 10100 Variel Ave, Chatsworth, 91311
  • Winnetka
    • 2nd Tuesdays, 6:30pm
    • Next to Canoga Bowl, 20122 Vanowen St, Winnetka, 91306
  • Porter Ranch
    • 1st Wednesdays, 6:00pm
    • Porter Ranch Community School – Multipurpose Room, 12450 Mason Ave, Porter Ranch, 91326
  • Northridge – West
    • 2nd Tuesdays, 6:30pm
    • Calahan Elementary School, 18722 Knapp St, Northridge, 91324
  • Northridge – East
    • 3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • Northridge Woman’s Club, 18401 Lassen St, Northridge, CA 91325
  • Northridge – South
    • 4th Thursday (except Nov and Dec meetings), 7:00pm
    • Northridge Middle School, 17960 Chase St, Northridge, 91325
  • Granada Hills – North
    • 1st Tuesdays, 6:30pm
    • Saint Euphrasia Parish Hall, 11766 Shoshone Ave, Granada Hills, 91344
  • Granada Hills – South
    • 1st Thursdays, 6:30pm
    • Granada Hills Charter High School – Rawley Hall, 10535 Zelzah Ave, Granada Hills, 91344
  • North Hills – West
    • 3rd Thursdays, 7:00pm
    • New Horizon Center, 15725 Parthenia Street, North Hills, 91343
  • North Hills – East
    • 1st Mondays, 6:30pm
    • Penny Lane’s Rainbow Room, 15314 Rayen St, North Hills, 91343
  • Reseda
    • 1st and 3rd Mondays, 7:00pm
    • City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s District 3 Field Office, 19040 Vanowen St, Reseda, 91335
  • Tarzana
    • 4th Tuesdays, 7:00pm
    • Tarzana Elementary School Auditorium, 5726 Topeka Dr, Tarzana, 91356
  • Encino
    • 4th Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • Encino Community Center, 4935 Balboa Blvd, Encino, 91316
  • Lake Balboa
    • 1st Wednesdays, 6:30pm
    • Gault Street Elementary School, 17000 Gault St, Lake Balboa, 91406
  • Sherman Oaks
    • 2nd Mondays, 6:30pm
    • Sherman Oaks Elementary School, 14755 Greenleaf St, Sherman Oaks, 91403
  • Studio City
    • 3rd Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • BLDG. 8 MPR-3, 4024 Radford Ave, Studio City, 91604
  • Valley Village
    • 4th Wednesdays 6:30pm
    • Faith Presbyterian Church – Social Hall, 5000 Colfax Ave, Valley Village, 91607
  • Greater Toluca Lake
    • 3rd Tuesdays, 7:00pm
    • Toluca Lake Elementary School Auditorium, 4840 Cahuenga Blvd, North Hollywood, 91601
  • Greater Valley Glen
    • 1st Mondays, 7:00pm
    • Valley College – Campus Center, Room 104, 5800 Fulton Ave, Valley Glen, 91401
  • Van Nuys
    • 2nd Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • Marvin Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, 91401
  • North Hollywood – Mid-Town
    • 2nd Wednesdays, 6:30pm
    • Senior Citizen Center at North Hollywood Park, 5301 Tujunga Blvd, North Hollywood, 91601
  • North Hollywood – North East
    • 3rd Thursdays, 6:40pm
    • LA Fire Station 89, 7063 Laurel Canyon, North Hollywood, 91605
  • North Hollywood – West
    • 4th Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • Saticoy Elementary School Auditorium, 7850 Ethel Ave, North Hollywood, 91605
  • Sun Valley
    • 2nd Tuesdays, 6:30pm
    • Villa Scalabrini Retirement Center, 10631 Vindale St, Sun Valley, 91352
  • Panorama City
    • 4th Thursdays, 6:30pm
    • Mission Community Hospital – Medical Office Building, 2nd Floor, Room 208, 14860 Roscoe Blvd, Panorama City, 91402
  • Mission Hills
    • 1st Mondays, 6:30pm
    • Mission Community Police Station, Falco Room, 11121 Sepulveda Blvd, Mission Hills, 91345
  • Arleta
    • 3rd Tuesdays, 6:30pm
    • Beachy Elementary School – Auditorium, 9757 Beachy Ave, Arleta, 91331
  • Pacoima
    • 3rd Wednesdays, 6:30pm
    • Pacoima City Hall, 13520 Van Nuys Blvd, Pacoima, 91331
  • Sylmar
    • 4th Thursdays, 6:30pm
    • Sylmar High School Spartan Hall, 13050 Borden Ave, Sylmar, 91342
  • Foothill Trails District
    • 3rd Thursdays, 7:00pm
    • Lake View Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Blvd, Lakeview Terrace, 91342
  • Sunland-Tujunga
    • 2nd Wednesdays, 7:00pm
    • North Valley Neighborhood City Hall, 7747 Foothill Blvd, Tujunga, 91042

XI. International Trade Programs

Valley International Trade Association (VITA)

VITA is a resource, referral and educational association for international business, whose mission is to promote the Greater San Fernando Valley as a leader in international trade. VITA will also assist businesses that are interested in developing a new international focus. In addition, VITA presents breakfasts, seminars, and workshops addressing issues in international trade by special guest speakers, that offer valuable information on the global marketplace and networking opportunities for VITA members.

The LA-Long Beach World Trade Center Association (WTCA)

The WTCA provides foreign direct investment (FDI) assistance to attract international businesses to the County of Los Angeles. WTCA helps businesses with trade leads, business contacts, market assessments, and information on economic conditions by country, information on government regulations by country and trade mission assistance.

California’s Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ)

FTZs are secured areas legally outside of U.S. customs territory usually located in or near customs points of entry. FTZs allow entry of foreign or domestic merchandise without formal customs entry or government excise taxes. Merchandise entering a zone may be stored, tested, sampled, relabeled, repackaged, displayed, repaired, manipulated, mixed, cleaned, assembled, manufactured, salvaged, destroyed or processed. Products imported into FTZs are excluded from customs duty and excise taxes until the time of transfer from the FTZ. Areas of Los Angeles include Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach.

The Port of Los Angeles Foreign Trade Zone 202 (FTZ)

A Foreign Trade Zone is an area where foreign and domestic merchandise is considered outside U.S. Customs territory. Merchandise may be admitted into a zone without formal Customs entry, thereby deferring payment of duty or excise taxes until the product leaves the zone for sale/consumption into the U.S. or eliminating duty if the product is re-exported.

The Port of Long Beach Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

The Port of Long Beach assists businesses that wish to activate as an FTZ operator.

California State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP)

The California STEP project combines a network of state, federal, private and non-profit trade promotion organizations in California to facilitate export promotion activities serving targeted industries to drive exports for small businesses. STEP has developed an array of activities designed to assist California small businesses with export sales and international market expansion. To be eligible to participate in the program a company must: (1) Complete Certification Form; (2) Meets U.S. Small Business Administration size requirement (3) Products must be at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural origin; (4) Entity is based in California; (5) Has been in business for more than one year; (6) Company has in effect a strategic plan for exporting; (7) Have at least one full-time employee or sales agent participating in the registered activity.

Managed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), the network of STEP Partners implement a range of export promotion programs (20 trade missions and activities for 2011-2012) serving multiple sectors including: Information & Telecommunications Technologies, Green Technologies, Food and Agricultural Products, California Lifestyle Products, Water Technologies, Scientific Instrumentation, Transportation Equipment and Industrial Machinery.

XII. Other Helpful Programs

American Institute of Architects (AIA)

With nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA serves as the voice of the architecture profession and a resource for their members in service to society. They carry out their goals through advocacy, information, and community. Each year the AIA:

  • Sponsors hundreds of continuing education experiences to help architects maintain their licensure.
  • Sets the industry standard in contract documents with more than 100 forms and contracts used in the design and construction industry.
  • Provides countless Web-based resources for emerging architecture professionals.
  • Conducts market research and provides analysis of the economic factors that affect the business of architecture.
  • Hosts the annual AIA National Convention and Design Exposition.
  • Serves as an advocate of the architecture profession.
  • Promotes design excellence and outstanding professional achievement through an awards program.

The Valley’s AIA Chapter is located at 5121 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 200A, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network – City of Los Angeles

If you or your company are looking for opportunities to bid for contracts with the City of LA, register your business on the below website and receive updates for bids that are applicable for you or your company.

Construction/Inspection Case Management Program – City of Los Angeles

The Department of Building and Safety has introduced the Inspection Case Management (ICM) program – a service that will utilize experienced inspection staff as Case Managers to assist, guide, and facilitate the construction inspection process to build safely, quickly and well. ICM will provide systematic and comprehensive assistance to customers with the following types of projects:

  • Projects with a construction valuation above $10,000,000.
  • Projects to develop restaurants and other food service establishments.
  • Projects to develop charter schools.

A Case Manager will be assigned to each project to serve as a liaison for all LADBS services, solve project problems and provide the customer with consultative services spanning the following areas:

  • Assist in navigating efficiently.
  • Coordinate meetings between construction and inspection teams and provide a timely resolution to critical construction and inspection issues.
  • Assist all construction trades to resolve as built or on site construction changes.
  • Facilitate resolution to code related interpretation issues.
  • Coordinate timely and comprehensive inspection for all inspection trades.
  • Mobilize same-day inspections.
  • Facilitate project phased occupancy.

At the client level, ICM will provide a single point-of-contact for the City of Los Angeles and offer assistance in navigating efficiently through the City’s regulatory procedures and policies. To assist with projects, ICM will create a partnership with construction teams and utilize a series of “all-hands” meetings prior to, and during construction, to collaborate on construction timelines, overlapping inspection disciplines, technical problems and the facilitation of Certificates of Occupancy.

Parallel Design Permitting Process (PDPP)

PDPP allows the design and permitting processes for major projects to run concurrently. A Plan Check Engineer is assigned to the project to check plans and provides code consultation services throughout the conceptual, schematic, and final design phases. When final drawings are completed, the building permit is ready for issuance.

Unclaimed Property – State of CA Controller

The State of California is currently in possession of more than $7.6 billion in Unclaimed Property belonging to approximately 28.6 million individuals, businesses, and organizations. The State acquires unclaimed property through California’s Unclaimed Property Law, which requires “holders” such as corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies to annually report and deliver property to the Controller’s Office after there has been no customer contact for three years. Often the owner forgets that the account exists, or moves and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding order expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property. Sometimes businesses have thousands of dollars from a previously closed account they aren’t aware of.

XIII. Technical Assistance and Personal Connections

The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA)

TVEA attracts, retains, and grows businesses by connecting businesses to the resources and leadership of the San Fernando Valley. It provides specialized assistance in the following areas:

  • Business Assistance Program (BAP)
  • Marketing the region
  • Industry programs and expos
  • Community leadership forums
  • Site selection services for business expansion and relocation
  • Ombudsman services for permitting and licensing assistance
  • Connections to area universities and colleges for collaborative product development
  • Workshops and training on a variety of topics including international trade, workforce development and media relations.
  • Historical data and forecast projections on economic sectors in the San Fernando Valley, as well as regional community profiles and demographic data
  • Problem-solving assistance between business and government agencies

For more information about this guide and its content, or to be connected with an individual with more specific information about a particular topic, call us or visit our website today!

5121 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 200, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 | (818) 379-7000

Business Resource Built By:

Michael Hadley, MPP
Business Assistance Specialist
The Valley Economic Alliance


While much of the content in this document is original, other resources were used in the making of this Business Resource Guide. We thank the hard work that was put into the other resource guides, so please feel free to view any of these guides at the following links:


This guide may not be all-inclusive as the programs change. This guide provides a current overview of programs and incentives known to be available as of November 1, 2015.