During its December board meeting, Downtown Long Beach Alliance presented its annual report, a transparent and in-depth look at the inner workings of the DLBA team and its achievements in 2019.
“Looking back on 2019 we cannot help but feel overwhelming pride in a year of historic developments and inspiring and growing partnerships contributing to the ever-expanding tapestry of our Downtown,” said Kraig Kojian, DLBA President and CEO, and Tony Shooshani, DLBA 2019 Chair, in the report’s welcoming remarks.
Kojian and Shooshani framed the year with the opening of the new Civic Center—City Hall, Bob Foster Council Chambers, Port of Long Beach headquarters and Billie Jean King Main Library—as a key moment in Downtown Long Beach history.
“Government, commerce and community, all pillars of a great society, manifested themselves in Downtown,” said Kojian and Shooshani.
Each department within DLBA has contributed to the ongoing success of the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, updated and implemented in 2016 with strategies and tactics to continuously improve Downtown’s status as an economic powerhouse.
DLBA’s Marketing and Communications Department is maximizing its use of social media platforms to communicate with and be a resource for Downtown Long Beach’s 5000 stakeholders. DLBA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages have close to 100,000 followers and its monthly newsletter is gaining readership steadily: You may be one of the 10,000 subscribers to DLBA Downtown Scene.
The Special Events Department enjoyed great attendance for its annual signature events; Taste of Downtown, Summer and Music, and Live After 5. The Department also presented some ground-breaking partnership events, including the spectacular Pow!Wow! International Mural Festival closing party, co-presented by DLBA and southern California’s premier public radio station, KCRW.
Special Events can boast of a $542,148 economic return on 2019 events, which were attended by an almost-even split of Long Beach locals and out-of-town visitors.
“Innovation” and “Exploration” are key words to describe the work of DLBA’s Public Realm Department in 2019. The four million pedestrians who visit Downtown annually will find navigation much easier, thanks to ongoing wayfinding sign and sidewalk decal projects.
Public Realm sought to connect Downtown with such forward-thinking global events as International Park(ing) Day while keeping alive such decades-old Downtown traditions as holiday decor.
The Economic Development Department, which serves as a liaison between the Downtown business community and the City of Long Beach, played a critical role in helping create a net gain of 182 new businesses in The Downtown in 2019. The Department provided such new-business assistance as Kiva Micro Loans, the Entrepreneur Education Series and the Winter Small Business Workshop.
DLBA’s Clean and Safe Teams continued to help maintain the attractiveness and security of the Downtown while also acting as business networkers. The Teams removed 34,600 pounds of Downtown trash and provided 368 safety escorts last year while helping facilitate over 12,000 business-related connections. The Department is essential in realizing the vision of Downtown Long Beach described in the Strategic Plan.
“With 2019 coming to a close,” said Kojian and Shooshani, “we are emboldened by recent successes and resolute in the knowledge there will always be challenges and opportunities awaiting us. Community development never ends; prosperity can always be expanded; and new partnerships can be formed.”
“We offer this annual report as an in-depth review of the past year’s achievements as well as a tool to envision the Downtown Long Beach of the future,” added the President/CEO and Chair.
For detailed descriptions of DLBA’s departments and programs, along with statistics and financial data, please read the DLBA Annual Report HERE.