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Economic Inclusion Initiative

In April 2017, the Long Beach City Council approved the City’s Draft Blueprint for Economic Development (Blueprint) that focuses on advancing a 10-year vision of making Long Beach a City of opportunity for workers, investors and entrepreneurs. One of the key focus areas in the Blueprint is Economic Inclusion which aims increase access to economic opportunities in low income communities to advance economic equity.

Everyone In Economic Inclusion Implementation Plan

On June 2019, the Long Beach City Council approved the ‘Everyone In’ Economic Inclusion Implementation Plan. To develop the Implementation Plan, the City convened a 50-person Implementation Committee with local and regional cross-sector partners to analyze data and community input to develop economic inclusion strategies for the Implementation Plan. The City also engaged over 350 community members in meaningful dialogues to co-create and provide additional community input on the draft proposed economic inclusion strategies. The Implementation Plan includes policy recommendations for small business and diverse entrepreneurship; local, inclusive procurement; workforce and youth development; connectedness (economic resiliency) and housing and homeownership. Please see the memorandums below that provide updates on the Implementation Plan and economic inclusion efforts.

Advancing Economic Inclusion in Long Beach Infographics

The Economic Inclusion Infographics  are a collaboration between the Economic Development Department, the Health Department’s Office of Equity, a City Management Assistant, and the City’s Graphic Designer. The infographics play a profound role in unveiling the existing economic and racial inequities in Long Beach to the Economic Development Commission, City staff, other community stakeholders, and Long Beach residents. Conjointly, the infographics also help shape solutions that are addressing inequities and improving the economic well-being for all in Long Beach. Visit our page to view infographics.

'Everyone In' Economic Equity Summit

The City of Long Beach in partnership with The Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC) is proud to have hosted The ‘Everyone In’ Economic Equity Summit that took place on May 17th at the Long Beach Convention Center. The Equity Summit was a culminating event that showcased the progress that was made with the ‘Everyone In’ Listening Tour and the Economic Equity Profile. Both projects were approved by the City Council on November 7, 2017.

The summit also explored innovative approaches to building a more inclusive economy as part of the City’s Blueprint for Economic Development. Over 200 local business leaders, community leaders, policymakers, and philanthropic partners came together for a deep exploration of strategies that advance economic equity, through topics such as strengthening entrepreneurship and small businesses in diverse communities, financial inclusion and access, pathways to homeownership, fostering equity in new and emerging industries, approaching transit-oriented development with an equity lens, and developing the next generation of leaders.

'Everyone In' Listening Tour: Community Conversations

The 'Everyone In' Listening Tour was launched in February of 2018 under the direction of Economic Development staff and a City Management Assistant. Two consulting firms, Lee Andrews Group and Wilson and Associates Consulting were contracted to recruit community participants, facilitate the community conversations, and write a summary report of the ideas and community solutions captured throughout the process.

From March to April, more than 100 community members from diverse backgrounds were engaged through equity-based community focus groups called “community conversations.” Our goal was to listen and learn from community members on how the City can increase access to economic opportunities and advance economic equity. The summary report includes key findings in six areas of economic development, as well as twelve community solutions to promote economic inclusion.

Long Beach Equity Profile 

On November 7, 2017, the City Council directed the City Manager, through the Office of Equity, to identify a philanthropic or educational partner to conduct an economic equity study for the City of Long Beach. The City selected both Policylink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity and Citi Community Development, Citi Bank's philanthropic arm to achieve financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families, and communities. 

The creation of the Office of Equity, the 10-Year Blueprint for Economic Development, and the "Everyone In" Economic Inclusion Initiative demonstrated to PolicyLink and Citi Community Development that the City, and broader stakeholder community, are committed and able to take action towards a more equitable Long Beach. While the elements of the Long Beach profile will be consistent with other equitable growth profiles that Policylink has developed (e.g., Fairfax County, Long Island, and New Orleans), the data indicators will vary based on stakeholder input from the "Everyone In Listening Tour." The profile will also include policy recommendations derived from data analysis, community and stakeholder engagement, and promising practices from other jurisdictions.

Kiva Long Beach

In alignment with recommendations of the Blueprint for Economic Development’s Inclusion Focus Area, the City partnered with Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC) and the Long Beach Community Foundation to establish Long Beach as a "Kiva City." Through the Kiva Long Beach initiative, Long Beach entrepreneurs can now access no-fee loans to start or grow their business, and residents can help local small businesses with loans as small as $25. With a dollar-for-dollar loan match provided by LA LISC, Kiva Long Beach borrowers can accomplish their fundraising goal quickly. Kiva loans service business owners who may not be able to afford loans with high-interest rates, or are unable to access traditional commercial loans.

The City currently has ten established Kiva Trustees that identify entrepreneurs who may benefit from a Kiva loan and help support borrowers in launching and funding successful loan campaigns.

Trustees include:

  • ABC Black Foundation
  • Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
  • California State University, Long Beach Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Downtown Long Beach Alliance
  • StartItUp
  • United Cambodian Community
  • Valley Economic Development Center
  • World Famous VIP Business and Media Incubator
  • The Zaferia Business Association
  • IronFire

For more information and to search for borrowers in Long Beach, the community can visit kiva.org/longbeach

New Americans in Long Beach: A Snapshot of the Demographic and Economic Contributions of Immigrants in the Long Beach Area

Long Beach is one of 25 communities selected for the 2017-2018 Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity from New American Economy and Welcoming America where local communities receive tailored research on the contributions of immigrants, direct technical assistance to develop multi-sector plans for welcoming and integrating immigrants, or matching grants. Findings of this research are detailed in a report that revealing that in 2016, immigrants in the City of Long Beach had a significant impact on the local economy.

The report advances the economic inclusion goals of the City’s Blueprint for Economic Development by making available important baseline information for the local immigrant community that can be used to help inform the implementation of programs and services.

Key findings of the “New Americans in Long Beach” report include:

  • Immigrants in the Long Beach area paid more than $1 billion in taxes in 2016. Immigrant households earned $3.4 billion in income in 2016. Of that, $833.4 million went to federal taxes and $280.7 million went to state and local taxes, leaving them with $2.3 billion in spending power.
  • Immigrants made up more than a quarter of the population and played an exceptionally large role in the labor force. In 2016, the foreign-born accounted for 26.6 percent of the total population, 32.6 percent of the working age population, and 32.1 percent of the employed labor force.
  • Immigrants in Long Beach are more likely to be entrepreneurs. While making up 26.6 percent of the population, immigrants account for 35.9 percent of entrepreneurs in the Long Beach area and are 18.5 percent more likely than their U.S.-born counterparts to be business owners. The more than 8,400 immigrant entrepreneurs in Long Beach in 2016 generated $162.1 million in business income. 
  • Immigrants were responsible for the creation or preservation of 5,895 local manufacturing jobs. Immigrants, who represent 49 percent of all manufacturing workers in the Long Beach area, help keep manufacturing jobs on U.S. soil by bolstering the local workforce, allowing companies to stay and create jobs in the area.
A full research brief of the “New Americans in Long Beach: A Snapshot of the Demographic and Economic Contributions of Immigrants in the Long Beach Area” report is available here.

Bridging the Digital Divide through Digital Inclusion Efforts

Decreasing the digital divide for low-income households is a key objective in the Blueprint. The City of Long Beach is applying a collective impact approach and equity lens to advance digital equity and inclusion efforts. Our approach includes the following:

              • Leadership and capacity building.
              • Multilingual digital literacy training and support.
              • Technology jobs and internship opportunities.
              • Job preparedness and digital literacy skills development.

              • Low-cost, high-speed, quality in-home Internet services.
              • Low-cost, quality cell phone data plans.
              • Citywide fiber network infrastructure.
              • Free City-provided public Wi-Fi.

              • Low-cost, quality, Internet-enabled technology devices -including refurbished (e.g.                                              desktops, laptops, tablets).
             • Quality technical support.
             • Free City-provided community computer lab.

For more information regarding the City’s Digital Equity and Inclusion efforts, please visit: http://www.longbeach.gov/ti/digital-inclusion/.