Business Solution Center Approved

The Metropolitan Transportation Board unanimously approved a first-of-its kind business assistance program for small business owners currently struggling with the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line along Crenshaw Boulevard. The motion to establish the Business Solution Center was introduced by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Director Jackie Dupont-Walker.

“While this is not a perfect solution for the small businesses along this construction corridor, it is a step in the right direction,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and MTA Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas. “If the Metro Board wants to pursue more rail projects in the future, we must show local small businesses that we are a committed partner during construction periods.”

“We’re finally making desperately needed investments to our public transportation system in South L.A., but construction simply cannot come at the expense of our businesses,” said Los Angeles Mayor and MTA Chair Eric Garcetti. “During the construction of the Crenshaw Line, I am focused on ensuring that businesses along the project route are able to thrive despite any temporary inconveniences to customers and employees.”

A Business Solution Center will provide direct technical assistance to businesses along the Crenshaw corridor to help them through construction activities. Federal and state law prevents Metro from providing direct cash subsidies to businesses unless access to the business is denied due to construction impacts. A Business Solution Center, staffed by paid employees, will help provide business owners an individualized plan that could include financial planning advice on small business operations as well as dealing with municipal permits and regulations, legal assistance, marketing and grant/loan application management.

“We must make sure South L.A. benefits from the economic stimulus this project will produce,” said MTA Director Jackie Dupont-Walker. “This Business Solution Center will go a long way in providing local businesses rapid response when required and the assistance and support they need.”

The pilot program is expected to provide proactive and hands-on business assistance to more than 100 businesses between 48th and 60th Streets and other areas that are significantly affected by the construction. The establishment of a Business Solution Center is an innovative and new approach by Metro to help some small businesses endure the construction.

The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is a $2.058 billion light rail that will connect Metro’s Expo and Green Lines with eight new stations. When the Crenshaw/LAX line opens to the public in 2019, passengers and customers will be able to travel to work, medical care, entertainment, shopping, school and other activities all over the entire Los Angeles region. It also will help revitalize the local and regional economy.