Considering putting down roots in Southern California? Whether you’re starting a company or simply looking for a place to live, Long Beach has a welcoming culture and a robust economy. Here are some facts that might come in handy.
A Brief Background
Long Beach has been a hub of Californian civilization since time immemorial. From 10,000 years of Native American culture to the cattle ranches of the 1600s and beyond, the area has long been associated with prosperity.
The rancher way of life persisted until the discovery and exploitation of oil reserves in the early 20th century. Around the same time, the coastal region began growing its reputation as a seaside resort town. Close proximity to the ocean made this a foothold for Naval shipyards and expansive commercial port activities. Along with a growing immigrant culture that placed a high value on hard work, these facilities would become critically important during war efforts in the 1940s.
The Current Era
Centuries of population expansion and community building laid the foundations for a modern commercial landscape. Although the Navy base and other industries eventually closed, their populations of skilled workers and reputation for strong work ethics created footholds for other industries that persist to this day. Aerospace companies, vehicle parts manufacturers and electronics firms all have headquarters or facilities in Long Beach.
The area’s unique background and proximity to Los Angeles aren’t the only factors that boost its economic standing. The Port of Long Beach is the second-most active commercial container seaport in the country. In addition to providing jobs for some 30,000 Long Beach locals and 316,000 Californians, it’s responsible for 1.4 million jobs nationwide and around $16 billion in yearly wages across the state. It also participates in innovative environmental initiatives and establishes policies that set international examples for management and efficiency.
This city hosts a number of financial institutions and investment companies. Healthcare facilities and other social service providers call the city home, and the region’s glamor attracts production and film companies from nearby Hollywood. A significant percentage of local employment positions are held by professionals in education and tourism.
Potential Corporate Advantages
Great weather and palm-tree lined shores aren’t the only factors that attract companies to Long Beach. The city has historically been extremely friendly to entrepreneurs and established enterprises. The loss of major employers over the years made the local government more willing to offer services and help connect business owners with support.
Companies that want to make names for their brands here can count on ample assistance when it comes to seeking grants, state incentives and financial assistance. The city’s Economic and Prosperity Development Department offers workshops and introduces businesses to various departments and programs. These resources help companies do everything from finding competitive pricing on utilities to improving their chances at obtaining permits or getting low-cost business licenses complete with favorable tax rates.
Of the 43,731 companies located in the city in 2012, around 18,000, or 41 percent, were women-owned. This was slightly more favorable than the national average’s approximate 37 percent women-owned businesses. With ownership stakes in more than half of Long Beach companies, minorities were far better off than they were in the U.S. at large, which makes sense considering the city’s long-held custom of welcoming diversity.
Prospects for Individuals
Long Beach’s economic abundance isn’t limited to big companies. From 2011 to 2015, 65.6 percent of the population participated in the civilian labor force. This was around two percent higher than the national average. Although the 5.7 percent unemployment rate was slightly more than the country’s 5.2 percent, job growth was about on par with U.S. statistics.
Could establishing yourself in Long Beach be a smart move? Continued investment by international companies, entertainment enterprises, hospitality firms and tech concerns seem to bode well for those who come to live or work here. Of course, not everyone will find it to be a good fit, but it’s hard to deny that Long Beach and the surrounding regions are rife with business and job opportunities for those with sufficient self-motivation.