Supporting the Innovation Economy

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

PHOTO: BEN MARKER

2017 CASE STUDY: BUSINESS CONCIERGE SERVICES

In 2017, the City of West Hollywood created a new Business Development Division. This division connects business to services and resources, helps new businesses navigate the City’s planning and building process, and supports relationships with the Business Improvement Districts and the Chamber of Commerce. Staff serves as an “on-demand” business concierge, treating every contact and interaction with a new or potential business owner as a unique situation. This service assists businesses in finding solutions to common questions and facilitates connections to the right people, data and resources. It also helps businesses navigate an evolving business landscape, particularly around minimum wage increases and the introduction of recreational cannabis business into the City.

Additionally, the Business Development Division works to educate other departments in City Hall about the business planning process. The division aims to be preemptive, rather than reactionary. By training staff to refer business owners to the Business Development team, the City is helping to get businesses the answers they need to be successful in the City.

Staff has served over 100 potential applicants this year alone. With an interactive business planning website in the works, the Business Development Division will continue to support the innovation economy in West Hollywood.


PHOTO: BRETT WHITE

2016 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.