Supporting the Innovation Economy

How will the City attract innovative companies while supporting our existing small businesses?

THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVES ARE MOVING THE CITY TOWARDS IMPROVING THE CITY’S INNOVATION ECONOMY

  • Develop Start Up In a Day toolkit for new West Hollywood businesses

    • A joint partnership of Economic Development and Community Development, staff is upgrading the Economic Development section of the City website to act as a one stop shop for business licensing, permitting, and cost information. Staff is also supporting the Chamber in developing a similar tool.
    • The Community Development Department is retraining and cross-training staff to provide better, more innovative customer service – expanding beyond the role of the typical business concierge.

  • Partner with educational and vocational organizations

    • Economic Development staff is assisting Jewish Vocational Services rebrand as the West Hollywood Career Center, to focus on more City-specific jobs including hospitality.
    • The Innovation and Strategic Initiatives Division partnered with General Assembly to host an Innovation Salon panel highlighting successful West Hollywood brands and their best practices for early stage brands.

  • Promote and celebrate West Hollywood’s innovation economy through events and awards

    • The City was a Community Sponsor of the first ever Hack4Equality event, an LGBT focused hackathon hosted by WeHo local business Grindr at the Pacific Design Center and at West Hollywood Library.
    • The annual West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Creative City Awards honor innovative businesses in all sectors of the City’s innovation economy.

PHOTO: BRETT WHITE

CASE STUDY: BUILDING WEHO FIBER UTILITY

In 2015, the City released a Request for Proposals for the development of a Fiber Strategic Plan to identify the connectivity needs of the City and the community. The plan outlines a network strategy, design and business model framework to support the needs of the City’s departments, community anchors, businesses and residents. This plan enables the City of West Hollywood to begin investing in broadband assets to support the evolution of the West Hollywood community for decades to come.

The City will use fiber to attract and retain business by reducing the cost of doing business by enabling high‐speed Internet connectivity that may not be available in other cities. Fiber provides a gateway to numerous broadband, cloud, and application providers, increasing the number of choices local businesses have for communications and technology needs. The City will be able to actively market itself as “fiber ready” and provide prospective businesses with a range of service providers. The City will also be able to develop strategic partnerships with broadband providers to market the benefits of the City’s network and services to businesses.

The core network will provide nearly six miles of high capacity fiber‐optic cables throughout the major corridors of the City. The item is expected to go before City Council in Fall 2016.


PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Support Visit West Hollywood in the development of an arts visitor center for cultural tourism.
  • Support the Small Business Administration regional office in opening a satellite office in the City, potentially co-located within the West Hollywood Career Center at the West Hollywood Library.