Welcome to the Economic Development Department's Business Brief! We are continuing to ensure you are updated on the latest business resources and news.


New This Issue!

Long Beach Pledge Program Expansion Application Closing Soon

The City of Long Beach has launched the application period for the expansion of the Long Beach Pledge, the City’s guaranteed income pilot program. The application is open for eligible residents at longbeachpledge.org now through Jan. 24 at 11:59 p.m.

The program will provide $500 a month for 12 months to 200 additionally funded households, utilizing $1.2 million in funding to support the City’s upstream homeless prevention efforts. The online application for the second cohort is now live and is available in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog. Applicants without computer or smartphone access may visit a public computer lab at any open Long Beach Public Library location. For more information about the Long Beach Pledge, visit longbeachpledge.org.

Inclusive Business Navigators RFQ

The City of Long Beach, Department of Economic Development, is seeking qualified organizations to deliver support services including workshops, technical assistance, and business coaching/advising, that support businesses and nonprofits. The request for qualifications is closing on February 1, 2024.

Qualified organizations will provide assistance to recovery from the financial hardship and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City is interested in partnering with organizations that can provide Outreach and Education and Technical Assistance.

View the RFQ

City of Long Beach Seeks Community Input for Creative Economy Grants

The City of Long Beach launched a community survey for its Public Mural Program, an entity of the City's Creative Grants Program that is funded by the Long Beach Recovery Act and administered by the Arts Council of Long Beach (ArtsLB). The Creative Grants Program provides funding to local arts, culture and history nonprofits and professional artists to be utilized for operational recovery, public murals, community projects and professional artist fellowships.

Now through Feb. 2, 2024, members of the community are invited to submit a community survey, available in Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog, to provide their input on the Public Mural Program, including potential locations and themes such as cultural, health and wellness, entertainment, and Long Beach landmarks and history, so that the murals can reflect the local community. Additional information regarding the survey can be found on the ArtsLB website.

City Seeks Partner to Operate a Mobile Healthy Food Market in Long Beach

The City of Long Beach is seeking a partner to implement and operate a Mobile Healthy Food Market in Long Beach. The goal of the Mobile Healthy Food Market is to increase access to affordable fresh produce in neighborhoods defined as having poor food access as well as increase opportunities for residents to be connected to other services and resources that address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes. The City has launched a Request for Proposals (RFP). Qualified organizations are encouraged to submit proposals through the City’s vendor portal, Long Beach Buys, by 11 a.m., on Feb. 8, 2024. Specific details related to eligibility requirements and submission instructions are available on the Long Beach Buys website. The City also has developed an instructional video about the registration process.

In Case You Missed It

Economic Development 2023 Recap

The Business Development and Workforce Development Bureaus had numerous successful projects and accomplishments in 2023 that we aim to continue into the new year. The Economic Development Department successfully launched and managed multiple programs for local businesses, entrepreneurs, and community members. Our local business support ecosystem remains strong and includes numerous highlights.

  • The BizCare Program provided in-person technical assistance to 77 businesses at Pop-Ups. Over 700 local businesses were informed of resources and programs through direct outreach and 884 businesses were assisted by phone and email.
  • 250 participants of the Long Beach Pledge Guaranteed Income Pilot began receiving monthly payments of $500 in May. Payments will continue through April 2024.
  • Pacific Gateway organized an emergency job fair to help local employees affected by the Virgin Orbit layoffs. More than 260 impacted employees connected with 40 local companies, many of whom were interviewed and moved forward in the hiring process.
  • 101 grants totaling $151,500 were dispersed to local businesses impacted by vandalism and property damage through the Visual Improvement Program.
  • Enrolled over 100 businesses for the ShopLB Program that provides customer rewards for shopping local through the Localight app.
  • Pacific Gateway opened the City’s only standalone youth employment center, Future LB, which houses a team of five full-time staff. A team of interns, partner agencies, and youth ambassadors lead daily workshops, career awareness activities, and internship placement services.
  • Launched the Inclusive Business Navigators Program in contract with four local vendors. Provided 34 business workshops to 580 total attendees and one-on-one coaching to 195 businesses with content and staff that are linguistically and culturally competent. Secured $280,000 in state grant funding to expand program services for immigrant entrepreneurs in 2024 and 2025.

2024 State of the City

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson delivered the 2024 State of the City Address last Tuesday, January 9, 2024. During the 2024 address, Mayor Richardson highlighted key accomplishments led by the City of Long Beach in 2023 and discussed his priority focus areas for the year ahead including housing production and the City’s ongoing homelessness response efforts, economic development strategies through the Grow Long Beach Initiative, and measures to improve the quality and efficiency of City services to ensure a clean, safe and livable City for all Long Beach residents.

View State of the City Recording

The Queen Mary

In December, the Queen Mary reopened the legendary Sunday Brunch, hosted a free community holiday event, and put on two nights of New Years Eve celebrations. All this following an incredibly successful November where the Ship’s occupancy outperformed the Long Beach and Los Angeles markets. In addition to outperforming comparative hotels, the Queen Mary obtained a new benchmark by obtaining the highest RevPAR (revenue per available room) for November, making this Queen’s most successful month in over a decade.

The arrival and departure experience will also be improved soon with a new automated parking system that is expected to be completed this month. 2024 will bring more exciting improvements to the Queen Mary including Sun Deck repairs, the opening of yet more restaurant options, and continued preservation projects throughout the Ship. The Queen Mary and Harry Bridges Special Events Park will continue its run as a premiere entertainment destination with concerts, festivals, and special events planned through the year, with the next large festival occurring in March.

Upcoming Events and Workshops

SBDC: What You Need To Know About Insurance For Your Small Business

  • January 22, 2024, 4:30 pm

SBDC: Business Finance Literacy Series [Session 3 of 3]

  • January 23, 2024, 8:30 pm

PACE: Quickbooks for Small Business Owners by Business Beyond the Shoebox - Getting Started

  • January 23, 2024, 10:00 am

PACE: Business Loans Deconstructed: Managing Business Loan Finances

  • January 23, 2024, 1:00 pm

Score: 7 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself Legally When Starting a Business

  • January 23, 2024, 1:00 pm

PACE: Procurement 1.0 Series: Capability Statement

  • January 24, 2024, 12:00 pm

PACE: Top 10 Signs It's Time to Change Your Small Business Structure (Part II)

  • January 24, 2024, 1:00 pm

Small Business Majority: Choosing the Right Entity for Your Business

  • January 24, 2024, 1:00 pm

SBDC: Canva Magic for Small Business Owners: Learn the Cool New Canva Features

  • January 24, 2024, 2:00 pm

SCORE: How to Create a Financial Plan - Financial Planning Basics

  • January 25, 2024. 1:00 pm

PACE: QuickBooks for Small Business Owners by Business Beyond the Shoebox - Everyday Tasks

  • January 25, 2024, 10:00 am

PACE: Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations x County of LA Public Health

  • January 29, 2024, 3:00 pm

PACE: Starting a Food Business: What Options Are Out There, Permits & Licenses

  • January 29, 2024, 5:30 pm

PACE: Business Loans Deconstructed: Navigating Challenges and the Future in Business Lending

  • January 30, 2024, 1:00 pm

PACE: Available Grants for Business Owners

  • January 30, 2024, 1:00 pm

Small Business Majority: Business Connect-Financial Bootcamp

  • January 30, 2024, 5:00 pm

How to Use Artificial Intelligence in Your Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • January 30, 2024, 1:00pm

PACE: Procurement 1.0 Series: Access to Capital/Contract Financing Assistance Program

  • January 31, 2024, 12:00 pm

Climate and Disaster Resilience: Climate Capacity Building Project Launch

  • January 31, 2024, 2:00 pm

Port of Long Beach New Office Hours for Small Businesses

The Port of Long Beach kicks off new “drop-in” office hours for small and diverse business enterprises seeking assistance with potential contracting opportunities at the Port.


The Port of Long Beach is proud to announce office hours on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for small and diverse businesses looking to explore contracting opportunities at the Port, or requesting assistance with small business enterprise or disadvantaged business enterprise opportunities. Office hours will occur at the Port of Long Beach Administration Building on the first floor, located at 415 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA.


Business Insights Tool

The City of Long Beach continues to expand its innovative business resources with the launch of its Business Insights Tool, a new, free online resource for local businesses that makes big data accessible for small businesses, allowing them to benchmark performance, optimize marketing, and analyze competitors, suppliers, and underserved markets. The Business Insights tool is now available for entrepreneurs and businesses at longbeach.gov/businessinsights.

Visual Improvement Program (VIP) Grant

“We faced an unfortunate incident where rocks were thrown at our establishment, shattering our windows. The cost of repairing windows can be quite expensive. However, thanks to the grant funding we received, we were able to cover the expenses of the window repairs, as well as invest in our products and serve our valued customers.” Heather Day, owner of Pixie Toys – Children Toy Store.

The Visual Improvement Program (VIP) Grant is providing direct financial relief to local small businesses and nonprofits impacted by crime and vandalism on or after 10/1/2022. Eligible businesses can receive $1,500 to cover repairs to their storefront caused by vandalism. To find more information and access the online application visit longbeach.gov/smallbizgrants.

Inclusive Business Navigators Program

The City of Long Beach launched the Inclusive Business Navigators Program to provide outreach, workshops, education, and direct technical assistance for local small businesses and nonprofits to support their economic recovery from financial hardships and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City previously sought partners to administer the Inclusive Business Navigators Program to support equitable economic recovery for Long Beach small businesses and nonprofits. The City selected vendors including CentroCHA, UCC, April Parker, and RightSource Services to provide outreach and assistance to local businesses. More information on these vendors and assistance available can be found at longbeach.gov/biznavigators. Businesses can also access assistance through this program through the BizCare Hotline: 562.570.4249 or 4Biz@longbeach.gov.

Pacific Gateway Work Experience Program

Looking for an opportunity to make a positive impact while also benefiting your business? Consider partnering with Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network, the City's workforce agency. Pacific Gateway is seeking employers who can provide work experience opportunities to individuals with limited experience.  


By hosting a temporary worker through Pacific Gateway, you'll provide meaningful work experience to shape their professional growth. Pacific Gateway will serve as the employer on record and pay the worker's wages.

For more information about the Work Experience program or additional questions, please contact Sokko Kong at Sokko.Kong@pacific-gateway.org or 562-570-3728. 

Register Today!

Commercial Corridor Façade Improvement Program

The Commercial Corridor Façade Improvement Program (CCFIP) will provide financial assistance in the form of a grant to commercial property owners to significantly improve the appearance of the entire façade of their property that is visible from the street.

Visit the program webpage for more information and eligibility requirements.

Free Digital Marketing with CSULB

Whether you are looking to create digital marketing assets for the first time or you need to level up your current efforts, CSULB is here to help your small business grow! This program will work with CSULB students enrolled in Marketing 437: Digital Marketing and Media to create customized digital marketing materials to boost your business for free. Students will assist in creating marketing material such as website creation, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Apply Here

Long Beach Public Library Digital Library

Take your business to the next level with free online courses, entrepreneurship training, and marketing tools from the Digital Library. Offering notable and distinguished resources such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning, the Digital Library contains an invaluable wealth of knowledge to help business owners (and their employees) upskill and lead a successful business. The Digital Library is free for all LBPL cardholders. Sign up for a library card to access these Digital Library Resource. 

Certified Blue Restaurant Program

The Certified Blue Restaurant (CBR) program supports and recognizes the outstanding Long Beach restaurants that achieve exceptional water efficiency in our community. Interested restaurants can enroll below to receive a no-cost, on-site efficiency survey, free water-efficient devices (if eligible), and an assessment for other possible rebates. Enroll your restaurant for the Certified Blue Restaurant Program.

Are you a small business looking for new opportunities?

Every year, the Port of Long Beach needs small businesses to partner with, to build, maintain, and service the 2nd largest Port in the United States. Small businesses earn millions of dollars as primes and/or sub-contractors on Port contracts.


Small business opportunities are available for a variety of contract types, such as construction, supplies, landscaping, recycling services, technology hardware, software, and even food services. Visit the Port’s Business Opportunities Overview webpage to download a sampling of products/services procured by each Port division.


Port of Long Beach Small Business Enterprise / Very Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program


The main goal of the SBE/VSBE Program is to promote the participation of SBEs and VSBEs on Port contracts and procurements, via prime and subcontracting opportunities. The Port has a 27% annual department-wide goal which is achieved by setting minimum SBE and VSBE participation goals for applicable construction and professional services contracts, and bureau-wide and/or division-wide SBE/VSBE goals on applicable purchases. Learn more about the Port’s SBE/VSBE Program at polb.com/sbe.

Long Beach Procurement Platform "Long Beach Buys"

The City of Long Beach has launched Long Beach Buys, a new purchasing platform and marketplace that is free for all businesses and organizations seeking to do business with the City. Long Beach Buys is part of the City’s Extreme Procurement Makeover initiative, which aims to enhance the City’s procurement process to be more efficient, results-driven, equitable, and sustainable.

Long Beach Resource Line

Contact the City of Long Beach BizCare Hotline for Immediate Assistance:

Phone number: 562-570-4BIZ (4249)

Days: Monday - Friday

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City staff will respond to voicemails made after business hours within 24 hours.

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