Economic Development Initiatives Reward Innovation And Support Small Businesses

Author: Julie Jenkins | March 20, 2019

The city of Long Beach ranked number 1 for offering small businesses the most advanced opportunities for expansion. This ranking was based on the analysis by tech firm Citymart that focuses on improvement in the public service sector.
The economic development officer of the city, Seyed Jalali, shared that entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business in the city can avail several assistance programs.
STiR or Startup in Residence provides one such gateway for small business owners. It connects newly established technology setups with governments all across America through their online network. New tech firms present their solutions for various municipal challenges and if selected, 16-week recruitment allows them to develop the solution initially presented. Various Long Beach city departments have announced challenges through the STiR program in order to attract small tech firms.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) are two programs that can pave the way for new tech businesses. SBIR offers funding to technology-based start-ups while STTR offers assistance to those focusing on research. California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) College of Engineering held a workshop on these two programs following the United States House of Representatives’ assurance to increase investment for the said programs. The workshop was free of cost and featured representatives of several government institutes including Air force, Navy and National Institutes of Health. The College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani wants his institution to play an active role in the socio-economic progress of the country.
The Long Beach Economic Development Department offers three different types of loans to already established businesses and startups. Their rates are fixed and the loans range from a hundred thousand dollars to two million dollars. The businesses functioning in the city for a minimum of two years get these loans. The city’s Economic Development Department offers such large loans twice or thrice a year.
Jalali shared that the department offers major assistance via the Microenterprise Loan Program that offers loans ranging from twenty-five thousand dollars to a hundred thousand dollars. Each month various businesses get one or two microloans. The only prerequisite is that for every thirty-five thousand dollars a company borrows, it must provide one full-time job.
The latest loan offered by the city of Long Beach is for those small businesses that are ineligible even for microloans. The city’s main partner in this enterprise is a non-profit organization called Kiva. The money for these loans comes from donations from all over the world. Borrowers need to submit an approved sponsorship from a trustee; thirteen civic organizations of Long Beach city act as trustees. Once approved, these setups receive loans ranging from five hundred dollars to ten thousand dollars.
Another step to facilitate small business entrepreneurs by the city is the Shaun Lumachi Innovation Center that offers assistance programs and a mutual work setting. In order to provide a skilled workforce, Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network arranges workshops and on-the-job training. It also offers support to female business owners and those belonging to minority groups.

Ready for more?

Apply for funding and find out if you qualify today