Small Business


Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy — they foster community and are a cornerstone of each neighborhood's unique character in the greater fabric of what makes Los Angeles, Los Angeles. Many small businesses have faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID1-19 pandemic and our office has worked to introduce and support legislation to help them through this time, and to connect them with the right resources year-round. 

Creating Equity Through The City's Spending Power

Each year, the City of Los Angeles spends approximately $4.5 billion procuring goods and services, making LA one of the largest economic drivers in the region. Since taking Office, Councilmember Raman has worked to ensure that the City is leveraging those dollars strategically, contracting from more women-owned and minority-owned businesses, small and local businesses, and businesses modeling high environmental standards. 

  • Establishing An Office Of Procurement The City Council adopted Councilmember Raman’s motion to establish a permanent Office of Procurement to professionalize, streamline, and centralize the City’s purchasing power. The creation of a permanent Office of Procurement will not only ensure higher standards of bureaucratic excellence, improve efficiency, and reduce costs; it will also enable us  to treat procurement as an area of strategic policymaking, to use our spending to advance important social and environmental goals.
  • Increasing Small Business Participation In City Contracting A mere fraction of the City’s personal services contracts are awarded to local, small, women- and minority-owned businesses. With the adoption of Councilmember Raman’s motion to “right-size” city contracts to make them smaller in size and scope, allowing for greater small business participation, we are forging a more equitable, inclusive economy reflective of LA’s vibrant local business landscape.

Bolstering Economic Development At The Local Level 

Small businesses in lower-resource neighborhoods are often unable to secure the same support as those in higher-resource areas. Since taking office, Councilmember Raman has sought to implement policy to uplift small businesses without traditional access to capital and incentivize support for these critical entrepreneurs.

  • Implementing A Community Development Tax Incentive Los Angeles is home to a wealth of Community Development Organizations working to make the City’s economy more equitable and inclusive by improving the economic conditions faced by low-income communities. Councilmember Raman introduced a motion, in partnership with Councilmember Curren Price, Jr., to create a tax incentive program that encourages the private sector to finance CDOs with long-term, flexible funds. Read more HERE.  
  • Promoting Employee-Owned Enterprises Councilmember Raman’s policy to promote and incentivize employee-owned enterprises will enable workers to share in the profits they help generate for an enterprise, facilitating economic mobility and wealth creation among workers. The results will be higher wages, better benefits, more long-term asset creation, and more job stability. Read more HERE

Bringing Street Vendors Into The Formal Economy 

Joining Inclusive Action and Community Power Collective to call on the state to
remove obstacles to permits for street food vendors.

Los Angeles’s sidewalk food vendors are an important and unique source of joy in our neighborhoods and an indispensable part of our culture and economy. Councilmember Raman has been a champion for these entrepreneurs since taking office, and has called on the State to take action to remove obstacles to securing permits to legally vend. The California State legislature has since amended the California Retail Food Code to be more inclusive and take into consideration the realities of sidewalk vending and is now pending the Governor’s signature before becoming law. 

Resources & More Information

  • Council District 4 BIDs & Chambers of Commerce: Join our CD4 business communities in Encino, Reseda, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, and Silver Lake. Check out their websites by clicking their names in the chart and reach out to them for any inquiries.

  • Small Business Support, Suggestions & Feedback: Contact CD4's Small Business Liaison Su Lee ([email protected]) if you have any small business-related questions, policy ideas, or general feedback that you would like to share with our office.

  • Economic Workforce Development Department:The Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) provides a broad range of programs that offer assistance in the areas of business support, employment, and youth development.

    • EWDD BusinessSource Centers: The Economic and Workforce Development Department can connect you to Business Source Centers for 1:1 counseling and consulting programs. Business Source Centers offer services in Spanish, Armenian, French, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Vietnamese, and more.

  • LA RISE: LA:RISE (the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise) offers employers direct access to a local pool of job-ready candidates—along with the resources to help them succeed, advance, and thrive long term.