The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA), in collaboration with community stakeholders and assisted by the Colorado-based business consulting firm Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.), is putting the finishing touches on the update of its Strategic Plan, DLBA’s guiding document for the next several years. 

“DLBA’s new Strategic Plan defines and sets direction for Downtown Long Beach over the next five years and beyond with a focus on recovery, resiliency, and inclusion,” said DLBA Board Chair Loara Cadavona. “It focuses not only on the continued mastery of the organization’s fundamental core services, including our Clean and Safe and economic development programs, but also the enhancement of these programs to meet the needs of today and the near future.”

Cadavona also cited two innovations included in the new Plan: a Business Navigator to support businesses of all types through the start-up process, and the enhancement of DLBA’s Homeless Outreach Program, which will expand to include real-time triage response in improved coordination with the City of Long Beach and service organizations.  

Created in 2012 by the Downtown Long Beach Associates, the Strategic Plan was updated in 2016, the same year as the organization’s rebranding as the Downtown Long Beach Alliance. An ongoing key element of the Plan is DLBA’s management of the Property-Based Improvement District, in which owners of commercial and residential property in Downtown vote to assess themselves to receive specific programs and services at two levels: Premium and Standard. The new Strategic Plan coincides with the renewal of the PBID. 

“The Strategic Plan, which included voices and ideas from more than 500 Downtown stakeholders, informs both DLBA’s future work program and the design of the new PBID,” said P.U.M.A. President Brad Segal. “The number one goal of the Strategic Plan is to ensure a model Clean and Safe program for Downtown. The PBID-funded Clean Teams and Safety Ambassadors are doing a great job, despite their work being complicated by the challenges of the pandemic, rapidly rising labor and material costs and the region’s lack of progress to reduce the unhoused population.”   

Segal, whose company has assisted over 250 cities, added that a cleaner and safer Downtown is critical to economic recovery. “The new PBID will dramatically increase resources and bring national best practices to these basic service areas,” he said. 

Other goals of the Strategic Plan will also be addressed by PBID funding, including supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship, helping to lease office buildings, and programming to enliven Downtown’s public spaces. 

As DLBA navigates the shifting tides of the pandemic, the organization is confident about Downtown’s recovery. “DLBA is well-positioned to support the Strategic Plan’s vision of Downtown as the thriving urban center of Long Beach,” said Cadavona.