The East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce also offers a comprehensive business training to both English speaking and monolingual small business owners to help them grow in revenue and create/retain jobs. Our Chamber offers comprehensive business workshops designed to transfer critical management skills to small business owners. These workshops are open and available to anyone seeking additional information on how to start, operate and successfully grow a business.
Classes are reasonably priced or FREE. Business workshop topics include, but are not limited to:
- Access to capital
- Basic legal structures of a business
- Marketing on limited budget
- Business record keeping
- Managing Employees
- Managing for profit and results
- How to start a new business
- How to write a business plan
- How to do business with the government
- Import / export fundamentals
- Finance & accounting
- Customer service
- Human resources
- Procurement assistance
LA COUNTY OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS (OSB-PTAC)
Our Mission: Connecting Small Business with Government Opportunities!
OSB-PTAC provides workshops and training for businesses on selling goods and services to the County, the State, the Federal government, certifying your business, and other technical assistance.
OSB-PTAC provides links to web sites which contain information such as license and permits required when starting a business, upcoming events, and how to register to be a County, State, and Federal vendor.
OSB-PTAC provides links to procurement web sites, not only with the 37 County department, but also with the federal and state governments, cities and other public jurisdictions.
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - GOBIZ
This website assists you in finding appropriate permit information for your business. It also provides contact information for the various agencies that administer & issue these permits.
Doing Business with Los Angeles County
The County of Los Angeles is an entity comprised of 38 separate departments that provide a wide range of services and/or facilities to the citizens and employees of the County.
Internal Revenue Small Business Resources for Starting a Business
Listed below are links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions. The list should not be construed as all-inclusive. Other steps may be appropriate for your specific type of business.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit
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.
Benefits: Federal income tax credit for hiring employees from nine target groups with credits in the following amounts:
• $2,400 generally for each new adult hire (who meets specific criteria)
• $1,200 for each summer youth hire
• $4,800 for each new disabled veteran hire
• $9,000 for each new long-term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient hired over a two-year period
Eligibility: Qualified hires must fall into one of the nine target groups to be eligible for tax credits.
For more information, visit: www.doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax.
Enterprise Zone Program
The Enterprise Zone Program is a part of California’s Geographically-Targeted Economic Development Areas, which provides tax incentives and benefits to stimulate business investment and job creation for qualified disadvantaged individuals in state-designated economically distressed areas. In the State of California, there are a maximum of 42 Enterprise Zones (EZs), which are individually managed by their respective jurisdictions. Each EZ designation lasts for 15 years.
• Hiring Credits: With the hiring credits in the EZ program, firms can earn approximately $37,000 in state tax credits spread out over a five-year period for each “qualified employee” that is hired. The credits are given on the following schedule: 50% of qualified wages in the first year of employment; 40% of qualified wages in the second year of employment; 30% of qualified wages in the third year of employment; 20% of qualified wages in the fourth year of employment; and 10% of qualified wages in the fifth year of employment.
• Up to 100% net operating loss carry-forward for 15 years.
• Sales tax credits on purchases up to $20 million per year of qualified machinery and machinery parts.
Up-front expensing of certain depreciable property; lenders to Zone businesses may receive a net interest deduction. Unused tax credits can be applied to future tax years, stretching out the benefit of the initial investment. Preference points on state contracts.
Eligibility: There are eight designated Enterprise Zones in Los Angeles County, one of which is composed of Unincorporated East Los Angeles. The Enterprise Zone for East L.A. expires 2023. For more information, visit: www.hcd.ca.gov/fa/ez/.
Research and Development Tax Credit
California’s research and development tax credit is designed to encourage companies to increase basic research and development activities in the state.
Benefits: The research and development tax credit allows companies to receive a 15% tax credit for qualified in-house research expenses and a 24% credit for basic research payments to outside organizations.
Eligibility: To qualify, a taxpayer’s research must be conducted within California and include basic or applied research of scientific inquiry, original investigation for the advancement of scientific or engineering knowledge or improved function of a business component. For more information, visit: www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/credits/rd.
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.
For more information, visit: www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/1083.pdf.
Sales and Use Tax Exclusion for Advanced Transportation and Alternative Sources Manufacturing Program
The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) provides a sales and use tax exemption on property used for the "design, manufacture, production, or assembly" of either advanced transportation technologies or alternative energy source products, components or system.
Benefits: Sales and use tax exclusion for property involved in the design, manufacture, production or assembly of “clean technology.”
Eligibility: An approved application by the CAEATFA is required before a business is able to make tax-exempt purchases on clean-tech manufacturing equipment.
For more information, visit: www.treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/sb71/index.asp.
Southern California Edison Programs
Southern California Edison (SCE), an investor-owned utility, offers a number of programs to help qualifying businesses reduce energy usage and lower electricity costs.
• 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 (for more information on this initiative, see page 67).
• “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.
For more information, visit: www.sce.com/businessor www.sce.com/solarleadership/gosolar/california-solar-initiative/default.htm
Southern California Gas Company
The Southern California Gas Company, a Sempra Utility company, offers a variety of energy efficiency programs for businesses in its service territory, including:
• Small business equipment rebates
• Incentives by industry
• Foodservice equipment rebates
• “Savings By Design”
• Rebates for suppliers and installers
• Solar water heating incentives through the California Solar Initiative
For more information, visit:
Foreign Trade Zone
The Port of Los Angeles has a designated Foreign Trade Zone, which allows U.S. based companies to defer, reduce or even eliminate customs duties on products admitted to the zone. For more information on Foreign Trade Zones and their benefits, see page 7.
For more information, visit: www.portoflosangeles.org/facilities/ftz_202.asp.
Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program
The Federal Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program is administrated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects.
Benefits: Loan guarantee, which provides communities with a source of financing for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants include the following public entities:
• Metropolitan cities and urban counties (i.e., CDBG entitlement recipients);
• Nonentitlement communities that are assisted in the submission of applications by States that administer the CDBG program; and
• Nonentitlement communities eligible to receive CDBG funds under the HUD-Administered Small Cities CDBG program (Hawaii). The public entity may be the borrower or it may designate a public agency as the borrower.
For more information, visit: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/108/index.cfm.
Economic Development Administration Revolving Loan Fund Program
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund (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.
EDA’s RLF recipient, in turn, disburses money from the RLF to make loans at interest rates that are at or below market rate to small businesses or to businesses that cannot otherwise borrow capital. As the loans are repaid, the grantee uses a portion of interest earned to pay administrative expenses and adds remaining principal and interest repayments to the RLF’s capital base to make new loans. A well-managed RLF award actively makes loans to eligible businesses and entities, continues to revolve funds, and does not have a termination date.
For more information, visit: www.eda.gov.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Small business is America's most powerful engine of opportunity and economic growth. That's where the SBA comes in. SBA offers a variety of programs and support services to help you navigate the issues you face with your initial applications, and resources to help after you open for business.
Some of the more popular SBA loan programs:
• 7(a) Loan Program - includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. For example, funds are available for loans to businesses that handle exports to foreign countries, businesses that operate in rural areas, and for other very specific purposes. The loan proceeds may be used to establish a new business or to assist in the acquisition, operation, or expansion of an existing business.
• Microloan Program – Provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The maximum amount of the loan is $50,000.
• CDC/504 Loan Program - The SBA 504 Loan program is a powerful economic development loan program that offers small businesses another avenue for business financing, while promoting business growth, and job creation.
This loan can be used for:
o The purchase of existing buildings
o The purchase of land and land improvements, including grading, street improvements, utilities, parking lots and landscaping
o The construction of new facilities or modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities
o The purchase of long-term machinery*
o The refinancing of debt in connection with an expansion of the business through new or renovated facilities or equipment*. For more information, please visit: www.sba.gov.
SBA Office of Technology
The Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Through these two competitive programs, SBA ensures that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program; five departments participate in the STTR program awarding $2 billion to small high-tech businesses. For more information, visit: http://archive.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbir/index.html.
Industrial Development Bonds
California cities, counties, joint powers authorities, and state government (through the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank) have the authority to offer low interest financing via tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds to businesses for the acquisition of manufacturing facilities and equipment.
Benefits: Up to $10 million can be provided as a tax-exempt industrial development bond (which offers significantly lower interest rates than banks) for purposes of acquiring manufacturing facilities and equipment.
Eligibility: Primary business activity must be manufacturing, processing or fabrication; the primary use of bond funds must be acquisition, construction, rehabilitation or equipping. The capital expansion must provide a public benefit, such as the creation of new jobs. For more information, visit: www.ibank.ca.gov/industrial_dev_bonds.htm.
California Loan Guarantee Program
The California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (SBLGP) is administered by the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to encourage small businesses to create and retain jobs as well as to invest into low-to-moderate-income communities.
Benefits: Loan guarantees for small businesses, which can cover up to 90% of the loan amount, with the guaranteed portion of the loan not exceeding $500,000.
Eligibility: Proceeds must be used primarily in California and must benefit the applicant’s business (such as expansion into new facilities). For more information, visit: www.bth.ca.gov/sblgp.htm.
Pollution Control Financing
The California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) provides tax-exempt bond financing as well as low-interest loans to help California businesses install new equipment and acquire or construct qualified pollution control, waste disposal or waste recovery facilities
Local Financing Assistance
County of Los Angeles Business Loan Program
The County Business Loan Program is a revolving loan fund that assists companies with expansion and development.
Benefits: Loans are offered between $25,000 and $1 million at a current rate of 6.5% for anywhere between five and 20 years. Loans can be used for property acquisition, equipment/machinery, and working capital.
Eligibility: Loan assistance is available to existing, small and medium sized firms within Los Angeles County. Companies and principals must exhibit good credit and show evidence of repayment ability. Applicants must demonstrate a financial need for a County Business loan and confirm that the project offers public benefit. The County loan may accompany, but not replace, private sector financing.
County Float Loan Program
The County Float Loan Program provides short-term loans for land acquisition, construction, equipment, and working capital for businesses, private developers and public agencies.
Benefits: Short-term loans are offered between $1 million and $4 million at a rate of 3.5% and require repayment in two and one-half years.
County Technology Loan Program
The County 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.
Benefits: Loans are offered between $10,000 and $200,000 at a 6.5% rate for anywhere between five and ten years. Loans can be used on fixed assets and working capital.
Eligibility: Members of the Los Angeles County Innovation Network for at least three months.
County Business Expansion Loan Program
The County 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
Benefits: Loans are offered between $25,000 and $1 million at a current rate of 6.5% for anywhere between seven and 20 years. Loans can be used for property acquisition, equipment/machinery purchases and working capital.
Eligibility: Loan assistance is available to existing and start-up, small and medium sized firms within Los Angeles. Companies and principals must exhibit good credit and show evidence of repayment ability. Applicants must demonstrate a financial need for a County Business Expansion loan and confirm that the project offers a public benefit. The County Business Expansion may accompany, but not replace, private sector financing. For additional information on any of the County’s financial assistance programs, visit: www3.lacdc.org/CDCWebsite/EHD/BusinessLoans.aspx?id=5339.
California Employment Training Panel
The Employment Training Panel (ETP) assists businesses in acquiring and retraining a highly skilled work force with expertise in very specific fields in order to increase competitiveness and productivity. ETP will enter into a performance-based customized training contract, for new or existing employees, which are performed by either an approved training agency or the company itself.
As the training is completed, the costs for developing, implementing, and completing the training are reimbursed. Ranging from about $1,500 to $2,000 per employee, reimbursements are made to the company for each employee that completes training and remains on the job for 90 days. The program is open to all California companies that face out-of-state competition and one or more of the following conditions:
• A need to retrain current employees to prevent layoffs
• A need to upgrade workers in areas where there are skills shortages
• A desire to hire and train unemployed workers eligible to receive unemployment insurance
• Special or unique training needs in industries related to defense conversion or emerging technologies
For more information, visit: www.etp.ca.gov.
WorkSource California operates a network of full-service centers located throughout Los Angeles County—some of which may be co-located at community colleges. Each WorkSource (formerly OneSource) Center offers efficient, cost-effective hiring, downsizing, training and technology services to employers and businesses of all sizes. These centers offer qualified candidate listings, employee training sessions, conference room and meeting space, free job postings and a fully equipped office center with computer, fax, and Internet access. Small business owners can also take advantage of specialized workshops and seminars related to recruitment and other human resources issues, as well as various Lay-Off Aversion programs for the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles, where applicable
For more information, visit: www.worksourcecalifornia.com.
Entrepreneurial & Business Start-up Assistance
California Innovation Hub Initiative (iHub) aims to improve the State's national and global competitiveness by stimulating partnerships, economic development and job creation around specific research clusters. iHubs leverage assets such as technology incubators, universities, research parks and federal laboratories to provide an innovation platform for startup companies, economic development organizations, business groups and venture capitalists.
Centers for International Trade Development
The Centers of International Trade Development assists thousands of companies annually in conducting international business. CITDs offer free or low-cost programs and services, including: one-on-one technical assistance and consulting, market research, training and educational programs, trade leads and special events.
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.
Benefits: Federal tax credits for electricity-generating renewable energy systems (e.g., solar, fuel cells, etc.) that are roughly equal to 30% of eligible costs. The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit is based on a per-kilowatt hour, while the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit is equal to 30% of expenditures.
Eligibility: Eligible installations include solar, fuel cells, small wind turbines, microturbines, geothermal systems, and combines heat and power. For more information, visit:
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.
Benefits: Up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners of new or existing buildings who install (1) interior lighting; (2) building envelopes, or (3) heating, cooling, ventilation, or hot water systems that reduce the building’s total energy and power cost.
Eligibility: Deductions are available primarily to building owners, although tenants may be eligible if they make construction expenditures. For more information, visit: www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US40F&re=1&ee=1Energy Efficiency Financing Program
The California Energy Commission provides loans on projects that have proven energy and/or capacity savings.
Benefits: Low-interest loans (3%) are provided on eligible projects that produce energy or capacity savings. The maximum loan amount is $3 million and there is no minimum loan. Common projects include lighting and equipment upgrades and heating systems, but can also include other energy-saving measures and renewable energy systems.
Eligibility: The Energy Commission will accept loan applications on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible energy projects from the following eligible entities: Cities, Counties, Public Care Institutions, Public Hospitals, Special Districts, and Public Schools and Colleges. Residential and commercial projects and non-profit institutions are not eligible for these funds.
For more information, visit: www.energy.ca.gov/efficiency/financing/index.html.
DOWNLOADABLE / PRINTABLE RESOURCE MATERIAL
LA COUNTY INNOVATION RESOURCE GUIDE
The Innovation Resource Guide (IRG) has been designed to provide an electronic source of service providers, educational institutions, venture capital sources and annual conferences dedicated to the support of businesses in the emerging technologies. Sections in the IRG include a listing of technology assistance service providers, general business assistance providers, technology-based academic programs, and a listing of annual conferences and events.
The SASSFA Economic Development Toolkit (EDTK) is designed to provide an electronic source of Los Angeles County’s business incentives, service providers, educational institutions, venture capital sources and annual conferences dedicated to the support of businesses. Information in the EDTK include a guide of general business assistance providers, technology-based academic programs, and a listing of annual conferences and events.