With political fanfare that included appearances by Gov. Pete Wilson and Mayor Richard Riordan, the Business Revitalization Center officially opened last week at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
The center, a result of Wilson's executive order to improve the quality of business life in post-riot Los Angeles, is a one-stop shop for new small-business owners who traditionally face a mountain of paperwork and long waiting periods when applying for permits and licenses.
"We try to help businesses get off the ground, step by step," said center manager Andrew Dumas. "The object is to cut down on the red tape."
The center promises to streamline the bureaucratic process for entrepreneurs by centralizing the services of 12 federal, state and local agencies that most frequently require business owners to apply for permits and clearances. Agencies represented at the center are to include the state Environmental Protection Agency, the federal Small Business Administration and various city and county offices.
The center will also offer small-business training programs, employer tax assistance, information on state contracts and one-on-one business counseling.
The center is meant to build on a concept started at a similar center that opened last year on Wilshire Boulevard that offered the permit assistance services of the state EPA. The Wilshire center closed this year and relocated in the plaza with the expanded services.
The center's two-year budget of $400,000 was funded by four state agencies and private donations by various groups, including mall developers Alexander Haagen Co., Apple Computer, Vons and Bank of America.