Glendale is a dynamic, business friendly city. We are a magnet for young entrepreneurs. This matters, because businesses, especially small businesses, are our lifeblood. They provide the services we want and the jobs we need. They attract the talent that keeps our community vibrant, diverse and interesting.
While recognizing the success we have had, we can’t rest on our laurels. The world is changing and the competition is always looking to unseat us.
As your Councilmember, I intend to leverage my background in economics, and my experience in finance in the technology sector, to enhance Glendale’s position as the premier small business destination in Los Angeles County. I plan to work on three fronts:
First, we can do more to nurture small businesses. Glendale offers some great business services, including programs to match businesses with job seekers, meetups held by the Economic Development Department that offer learning and networking opportunities, and even subsidized work spaces and youth internship program for eligible businesses. But many business owners either don’t know about these services or don’t have the time to make full use of them. We need to do a better job bringing these programs to the attention of the small business community and making them easier to access. I propose we convene a task force of small business leaders to look at these and other strategies to enhance small business formation and retention. I also propose we establish a Small Business Advisory Commission to provide ongoing input to City Council.
Second, we need to understand the long term threat that traffic congestion and lack of affordable housing are placing on our small businesses. Businesses thrive when they have a ready pool of local talent. But our workforce is increasingly being pushed out because of rising rents—and the hours spent commuting hurt productivity and employees’ work-life balance. All that commuting also contributes to our growing traffic problem, which in turn discourages people from taking jobs in Glendale. We can put this right by shifting the focus of development away from large luxury apartment blocks toward mixed-use workforce housing, and by developing better transit and walk-bike infrastructure to give people safe and convenient alternatives to driving.
Finally, we need to adapt our infrastructure to the hotter, drier and more fire-prone world we now face. That means distributed energy “micro-grids” to keep critical business services operating when transmission lines go down, better stormwater capture to replenish aquifers and ensure water availability during droughts, more coordinated disaster planning for fires and floods, and strategies such as cool roads and roofs to reduce the urban heat island effect. Making Glendale more resilient will also ensure its economy will continue to thrive.
By working together around a shared vision of the future, we can make Glendale an even more inviting place for small businesses, and keep our economy thriving through market transitions.
Paid for by Dan Brotman for City Council 2020. FPPC ID: 1419316
1641 Fernbrook Place, Glendale, CA 91208 | (818) 839-1639