Responding to a recent uptick in Downtown vandalism and break-ins, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) has taken a series of actions to help support and protect the Downtown community, including another round of Storefront Recovery Grants totalling $30,000 to provide relief to impacted small businesses.
“DLBA believes that our new initiatives will complement recent efforts by the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) to help make Downtown safer for businesses and residents to enjoy,” said Broc Coward, DLBA’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are grateful to the LBPD for their additional deployment of officers and their outreach in the efforts to address vandalism and break-in issues.”
In addition to collaborating with the LBPD to inform businesses and residents on how to avoid being targets of crime and how to improve chances of apprehending a suspect once a crime is committed, DLBA is implementing the following steps:
- Developing an enhanced Quality of Life Response Guide for businesses, residents and property owners that provides 17 scenarios and suggested responses on how to manage issues and contacts for various concerns in the public right of way.
- Coordinating with public and private security and property management firms as another layer of deterrence and reporting of suspicious activities.
- Partnering with the City’s Public Works department to install enhanced lighting along certain corridors.
- Deploying additional Safety Ambassadors in the afternoons and evenings.
- Promoting the availability of free DLBA FriendlyEscorts to assist workers, residents, visitors, and customers in the business district seven days a week, by calling (562) 244-1365.
The Storefront Recovery Grant offers eligible small business owners up to $1,500 to offset costs from physical damage to their storefronts.The grant, established in June of 2020 after the destruction that happened during the civil unrest in Downtown in May of that year, is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, based on fund availability. Businesses can apply for the grant through the DLBA website here.
“Many Downtown businesses are already operating on razor-thin margins as they manage through the ongoing challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Austin Metoyer, DLBA’s Economic Development and Policy Manager. “As we learned from a similar recovery grant program in 2020, this type of financial assistance really makes a difference.”
In 2020, the DLBA Storefront Recovery Grant program raised $40,000 which included major donations by Waterford Property Company, Panattoni Development Company and Zwift. Businesses interested in donating to the current program can send an email to email@example.com.
Downtown stakeholders also have another opportunity to strengthen cleanliness and safety solutions on the streets. As part of renewing the proposed PBID this year, commercial and residential property owners will secure several benefits including enhanced Clean and Safe Team services for another ten-year term. This includes a new Homeless Coordinator role and initiative as well as adding more safety ambassadors to the streets. The PBID is an effective tool for stakeholders to transform the needs of Downtown into action.
Based on recent stakeholder assessments gathered through interviews, roundtable discussions, leadership meetings and an online survey of more than 500 Downtown stakeholders, the new PBID Clean and Safe proposals aim to help create a cleaner, safer and more vibrant Downtown. These proposals include improvements to DLBA’s ongoing services such as extended pressure washing, as well as continued beautification programs, economic development, marketing, and special events.
DLBA hopes these new measures will provide relief and improvement as we continue partnering with Downtown stakeholders, private local donors, and city organizations such as the LBPD to fulfill our mission of cultivating, preserving, and promoting a healthy, safe, and prosperous Downtown for all.