On November 8, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation awarded Long Beach the Most Business-Friendly City Award at the 28th Annual Eddy Awards. The honor recognizes the city’s efforts to create a supportive environment for local businesses and the resulting growth this has brought.

The award reflects, in part, the success of efforts by Long Beach’s economic development department. The department works to promote the creation of “equitable economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs,” according to a press release from the city of Long Beach. The department’s two primary guiding plans are the Grow Long Beach Initiative and the Economic Development Blueprint 2.0, with the goal of “diversifying Long Beach’s targeted industry and growth sectors, growing local talent and educational excellence, and building an economy where everyone thrives.”

Bo Martinez, the department’s director, said, “Economic Development programs provide technical assistance, access to capital, business activation, and the BizCare hotline to help entrepreneurs navigate City systems and resources. We are here to roll out the red carpet, not the red tape.”

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, who accepted the award on behalf of the City at the awards ceremony, said, “This award reflects Long Beach’s dedication and support in creating a strong, supportive, and inclusive environment for businesses who call Long Beach home,” per the city’s press release. “We are committed to growing our local economy, advancing a culture of ease, speed, and predictability, and creating opportunities for all to thrive here in Long Beach.”

queen mary 2 171869 1920

Long Beach is a city with a population of roughly 462,000 people on the coast of Southern California. It is a full-service charter city, aiming to maintain its local, diverse culture while offering all the amenities of larger metropolitan centers. According to a recent report from Long Beach, the city is known as a tourist destination, attracting around 5.5 million visitors annually. The city offers miles of beach destinations as well as attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific built onto the waterfront, the ocean-liner-turned-museum Queen Mary, its Museum of Latin American Art, and its vibrant downtown.

The Eddy Awards ceremony took place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, on the evening of Wednesday, November 8. It began with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by awards ceremonies during dinner. The event attracts more than 600 of the LA region’s business, government, and civic leaders annually.

Other finalists for the Most Business-Friendly City Award were the cities of Carson, Glendale, Norwalk, and Torrance, which received congratulations from the LAEDC at the event. The ceremony also featured other honorees such as Ambassador Jane Duke, the Australian Consul General in Los Angeles, who was essential in signing 2023’s Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of California and Australia, which supports climate action and clean energy transition. Honoree Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 38th Governor of California, attended virtually. Delta Airlines received an Eddy Award as a corporate honoree for contributions to local nonprofits, companies, and sports teams. In addition, the Community Coalition of Southern LA received an award for three decades of civic work.