If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a business in Downtown Long Beach, DLBA can facilitate success for you every step of the way.  

DLBA, the City of Long Beach and their partners have created a multi-faceted small business success “tool kit” in which resources are provided for assistance in everything from creating your business plan to organizing your ribbon-cutting ceremony.  

If you are starting a business in a Downtown property, DLBA will serve as a liaison with the City throughout the permitting and entitlement process.  

While you are getting your location established, you can begin attending a bi-monthly,  DLBA-sponsored Google AdWords Workshop where you will learn and implement the basics of increasing your customer base with a strong web presence. 

For a deeper dive into your business education, you can enroll in a three-month Winter Small Business Workshop sponsored by DLBA which focuses on market analysis, customer service, brand presence and various aspects of business law. 

You can hone your vision for your business while attending the Entrepreneur and Small Business Education Series, a six-week course taught by Long Beach State University faculty which covers business and marketing plans, business location, legal and human resources and all the financial aspects of your business, as well as funding opportunities. 

For access to start-up capital, DLBA will help you apply for the crowdfunded Kiva Micron Micro-Loan, put together through a partnership between the City of Long Beach and the Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC).  Once accepted, you can borrow between $500 and $10,000 with 0% interest, payable for up to 36 months. In addition, LA LISC will match loan contributions made to DLBA-endorsed Long Beach businesses.  

Another funding avenue made available by DLBA for both start-ups and existing Downtown businesses is the Microenterprise Loan Program, designed for the betterment of employers with five or fewer employees. This fixed-rate loan starts at $25,000 and can be used as working capital to finance and maintain business equipment, furniture and fixtures.  

DLBA is also the steward of two grant programs:  The $10,000 Woman-Owned Accelerator Grant and the $20,000 Small Business Grant.  

When the big day comes for the Grand Opening of your business, DLBA will provide support and draw maximum attention to the event through media outreach and its own social media channels, including an announcement in its 10,000-subscriber Downtown Newsletter. All area neighborhood associations will all be notified of your “Welcome to the Neighborhood” event.  

After your business has been established in Downtown Long Beach for at least two years, you will be eligible to obtain a loan of between $100,000 and $2,000,000 through the Grow Long Beach Fund Program which can be used for any legitimate business expense.  This program is a result of the partnership between the City and the National Development Council Grow America Fund.  

DLBA will provide ongoing social media promotion for your business as well as two free sponsored social media posts per year on one of DLBA’s social media platforms.  There will also an annual email blast to Downtown Newsletter subscribers profiling your business.   

DLBA will help keep your business looking sharp, providing sidewalk pressure washing in selected areas of Downtown every six weeks through the DLBA Clean and Safe Team. Safe Team ambassadors are available to provide a safety escort for you seven days a week, anywhere in Downtown’s property-based business improvement district.    

The popularity of Downtown Long Beach as a small business location is on the rise.  DLBA is equipped to help you and your small business ride this wave.

For more details about DLBA’s financial and educational assistance programs as well as information on available small business incentives, the Commercial Improvement Rebate Program and access to market and business site selection data, click here.