There are many advantages to locating your business office space in the heart of a large downtown area, especially if you’re trying to launch a new small business. But if heavy traffic is not your scene you might contemplate somewhere just out of downtown to make your commute manageable. Downtown Long Beach, California, is less than 25 miles from the heart of downtown Los Angeles and is a vibrant business community with historic architecture and an abundance of cultural arts.
In the last few years, there has been significant investment in downtown Long Beach, including four residential developments, multiple adaptive reuse projects and a new courthouse featuring ground floor retail space. The city recently elected a new young mayor (the youngest ever to hold office). Mayor Robert Garcia, 36, was named one of Long Beach's "Most Innovative Minds" by Long Beach Magazine, and as one of his first initiatives put together a transition team to make recommendations for city improvements.
Centrally located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, Long Beach is easily accessible by train and has its own newly renovated international airport. In addition, the Long Beach Port is the second busiest port in the U.S. and is adjacent to the busiest port, which is Los Angeles. The seaport generates approximately $100 billion in trade annually and provides more than 316,000 jobs in Southern California.
Long Beach is overflowing with culture: There are 17 historical districts in Long Beach, two museums, many performing arts venues, the Queen Mary and an eclectic East Village Arts District. The Pike area is home to many restaurants, clubs, water recreation activities and the Long Beach Aquarium.
The city also offers many tax credits and deduction incentives to locate a business in Long Beach, including hiring credits, sales and use tax credits, and expense and interest deductions. There is also a retail sales tax program where the city returns to each eligible business 50 percent of the sales tax generated by the business in excess of the first $50,000 in sales tax.
If your business is global, you’ll be happy to know that the Long Beach Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a secured area within the U.S., where merchants can be admitted without the immediate payment of U.S. Customs duties or excise taxes. Importers and exporters can take advantage of the FTZ to conduct international business.
To improve business districts, the city has enacted fees that help fund board-approved, business-related activities. These range from staging street fairs to offering business promotions to installing new street lighting and cleaning sidewalks.
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