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City of Glendale up for Eddy award for business-friendly climate

Glendale was recently named as a finalist for an Eddy award, which recognizes cities in Los Angeles County that create a business-friendly climate through local programs.

The city is going up against Bellflower, Lakewood, Palmdale and Santa Clarita as a finalist among cities with a population over 65,000 for the honor, which is given by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

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“We all hear how hard it is to do business in California, but the city of Glendale is competitive and is a business-friendly city with a passion for its residents and businesses alike,” said Carrie Rogers, the corporation’s vice president of business assistance and development, as she announced the nomination during the Glendale City Council meeting last week.

During a presentation prior to receiving the nomination, Glendale’s Economic Development Director Phil Lanzafame listed several outreach efforts the city implemented last year which he said helped businesses get up and running smoothly.

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Lanzafame touted the city’s business concierge program, which assigns skilled project managers as a single point of contact for the city as well as offering on-site preinspections prior to a lease being signed.

Overall, he said local sales tax revenue was up 6.7% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same time a year ago.

Councilwoman Laura Friedman said she was thankful for the efforts during recent years to be more economically forward thinking.

“We do take business retention, development, creation all of those things very seriously here in Glendale,” she said. “I’m very happy to have watched over the five years I’ve been on this council the refinement of attitudes with the city in terms of our model of customer service and economic development being on the forefront of all of our employees.”

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Over the summer, the council approved creation of its own economic development corporation with the goal of enticing new businesses to the city.

Looking ahead to next year, Lanzafame highlighted several new programs his staff is looking into such as the formation of an assessment district for restaurants, meaning eatery owners could pool their money to pay for outdoor cleaning services in their neighborhoods.

He also said local asset management will be studied to see if any sites can be turned into hotels to boost revenue from the transit occupancy tax.

The Eddy awards will be presented during a banquet on Nov. 13 at the Beverly Hilton.

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