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California and the West

El Segundo Honored as `Business Friendly'

October 06, 2006|Bill Sing | Times Staff Writer

El Segundo is Los Angeles County's most "business friendly" city, thanks in part to its serving as headquarters to the highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies of any city in the county, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. said Thursday.

The city beat out co-finalists Burbank, Lancaster, Long Beach and Santa Clarita to win the honor, created this year by the nonprofit business support organization to recognize practices that attract and retain high-quality jobs.

El Segundo's role as headquarters for such large companies as Computer Sciences Corp., DirecTV Group Inc. and Mattel Inc. is "a remarkable feat for a small beach city just over 5 square miles in size," the LAEDC said.

Its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport and major freeways and its policies to recruit and retain businesses "are a significant factor in the economic success of the city," the LAEDC said.

The city boasts a ratio of 1 business license for every 3 residents, and it processes licenses in less than 24 hours on average, the LAEDC said. The city also has some of the county's lowest utility and transient occupancy tax rates, the organization said.

"We have always believed that the El Segundo community sets standards of excellence in service and quality of life that are second to none," El Segundo Mayor Kelly McDowell said.

The LAEDC said it created the award amid huge disparities in job creation among the county's cities. The county has added more than 2.5 million residents in the last 25 years but gained only a net 500,000 jobs, with some cities adding many new jobs and others losing them, the group said.

"Many cities are substantially more proactive than others about attracting and retaining quality jobs," the LAEDC said.

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