Mayor appoints seven leaders to city’s small business cabinet

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — In an effort to support entrepreneurs in the city, Mayor Karen Bass has announced the seven members who will lead the small business cabinet, which is intended to prioritize the needs of small businesses.

“Business owners are feeling the challenges of rising costs, the lingering impacts of the entertainment industry strikes and bureaucratic requirements, and we will continue to do all that we can to be responsive and cut through red tape at City Hall,” Bass said in a statement.

“We also know that opening Los Angeles for business also means confronting homelessness and increasing public safety.”

Bass established the cabinet to serve as a platform for collaboration and dialogue, ensuring that the city is responsive to the needs of more than 450,000 small businesses. The seven members of the cabinet are:

• Maria Contreras-Sweet, chair of the cabinet, and the 24th U.S. Small Business administrator; and director of Regional Management Corp, Rockway Equity Partners.

• Stephen Cheung, CEO and president of the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation.

• Julie Clowes, director of the Small Business Administration LA.

• Angela Gibson-Shaw, CEO and president of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce.

• Kim Hunter, CEO of Lagrant Communications.

• Lilly Rocha, CEO and executive director of Latino Restaurant Association.

• And Maria Salinas, CEO and president of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce.

“Mayor Bass knows that supporting business means addressing all of the issues that impact businesses, from homelessness to housing to public safety,” Cheung said in a statement. “She is continuing to make real change in the city, and the Small Business Cabinet is pleased to continue supporting her work and our shared priorities to further open Los Angeles for business.”

During her first year in office, Bass established a small business policy team in the mayor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, developed a permanent al fresco outdoor dining program, helped deliver two successful small business summits which drew a combined 2,000 attendees and prioritized impacted businesses during emergency responses.

The Small Business Cabinet was established by the mayor’s fourth executive directive — which among other things, is geared toward supporting small business creation, development and growth in Los Angeles by implementing practices like the provision of virtual and in-person counter services for businesses looking to open or expand.