The Chamber is your voice in ensuring the continued growth and vitality of our local economy.
Traffic congestion adversely affects the businesses and residents of Santa Monica. Through the Government Affairs Committee, the Chamber has coordinated discussions between the City’s Transportation Department and the business community. The Chamber has supported Phase II of the Exposition Light Rail Line from Culver City to Santa Monica, building the “Subway to the Sea,” the City’s proposed bike-share plan, and is working regionally to find alternative transportation solutions.
Transportation Impact Fee (TIF)
The Chamber supports the City enacting a reasonable TIF to implement the LUCE and to assist in addressing concerns about traffic and mobility. However, the Chamber has had serious reservations about the TIF as first presented – the rates proposed were higher than those found in surrounding cities, and there could be significant negative impacts on neighborhood serving retail.
Small Business Needs
The Santa Monica Alliance’s Growth and Development Committee regularly assists small businesses in navigating the City’s permitting process. Many small business owners are also members of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee where they help shape the Chamber’s position on policies at City, State, and Federal levels.
Nearly 80 percent of Santa Monica’s workforce lives outside the city. We need additional, affordable housing options for our commuting workforce, especially for first responders, teachers, nurses, and nonprofit workers. The Chamber has supported the LUCE’s goal of creating new workforce housing options near transit hubs.
The Chamber’s Land Use Committee has been meeting frequently with the City as they update the zoning ordinance and draft the Downtown Specific Plan. Many of our committee members attend City Workshops and community events, where they share concerns and voice support for items discussed in our committee meetings.
There are more than 700 homeless living in Santa Monica and at least 10 percent of these are veterans. We support increased funding to provide regional solutions, especially housing connected to intensive services for homeless veterans. Specifically, locating supportive housing on the West Los Angeles VA campus would provide a solution for 100-300 veterans.
Green Business Incentives
We support legislation that would provide incentives for businesses and developers to make their operations, especially new construction, energy and resource efficient.
We support healthcare reform in which all stakeholders, including government, providers, health care organizations, insurers, health plans, employees, individuals, and employers contribute their fair share of the financing needed to provide coverage for all Californians. We believe that no solution should place an unfair burden on one group and oppose the creation of a single-payer, government-run, universal healthcare system.
We support the city’s proposal to reconstruct the structurally deficient California Incline to meet current seismic standards and will work together to minimize the project’s impact on our community. Its lengthy 10-month construction calendar is a concern, especially with other large-impact, downtown construction projects on the horizon.
The Chamber supports alternatives for the upcoming Santa Monica Pier Ramp Restoration Project, including a parallel vehicular ramp and south bridge sidewalk to improve both pedestrian and vehicle safety and access to the pier. Limiting vehicle and delivery access would adversely impact the businesses on the pier and deter special events and filming use.
The Council recently recommended amending the anti-smoking ordinance to make business owners who knowingly allow smoking in outdoor dining areas liable. The Chamber has successfully guaranteed that this change will be supported by an ongoing, multi-faceted marketing campaign that includes positive, no-smoking messages in a variety of languages and training for the employees now expected to enforce the law.
Los Angeles County Business Federation
The Santa Monica Chamber joined 43 other business organizations from across Los Angeles County to launch the Los Angeles Business Federation, representing more than 70,000 businesses and 1 million employees. The group announced three top advocacy priorities: reducing traffic congestion, curbing gang violence, and supporting quality local schools. Traffic congestion consistently ranks as one of the top issues affecting Santa Monica businesses.
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