LAEDC Names El Segundo as the 'Most Business-Friendly City' in LA County

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2006 Eddy Awards also go to City National Bank and Toyota for five decades of business leadership in Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) has named El Segundo as the “Most Business-Friendly City” in LA County at its 2006 Eddy Awards honoring leadership in economic development.

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, and before a sold out crowd of over 700 of LA’s top business, government and civic leaders, the LAEDC introduced its prestigious new award to recognize the city that creates the best environment for business success in LA County.

El Segundo was selected by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, comprised of regional economic development leaders from a distinguished list of five finalists (which also included Burbank, Lancaster, Long Beach and Santa Clarita) from the 88 cities of LA County for its commitment to attracting and retaining high quality jobs for its residents and the region.

“In today’s fiercely competitive global economy, we need to be aggressive in both attracting and retaining quality jobs for our region,” said LAEDC President and CEO, Bill Allen. “That is why this award is so important. It directs attention to the best example in our County of how to create an environment in which 21st century businesses can thrive.”

El Segundo has the highest concentration of Fortune 500 firms of any city in Los Angeles County, a remarkable feat for a small beach city just over five square miles in size.

El Segundo boasts a ratio of one business license for every three residents, and their average time to process a license is less than twenty four hours. Their proximity to LAX and major freeways, and their policies to recruit and retain businesses are a significant factor in the economic success of the city.

The city also has some of the lowest utility and transient occupancy tax rates in the County. As a result, El Segundo is where 85,000 people work for many of the nation's best companies. Computer Sciences, Continental Development Corp., DirecTV Group, and Mattel all make their headquarters in El Segundo. The LA Air Force Base partners with Aerospace Corporation on $60 billion in contracts, creating over 50,000 jobs. Chevron-Texaco, which founded the city nearly 90 years ago, runs the largest oil refinery on the West Coast.

"We are thrilled to be the first city LAEDC has honored with this award," said El Segundo Mayor Kelly

McDowell. "We have always believed that the El Segundo community sets standards of excellence in service and quality of life that are second to none. And special recognition to my council colleagues, our city staff and the people who live and work here, who transform our vision into reality every day."

This award is highly significant today because over the past 25 years, the County of Los Angeles has added more than 2.5 million residents, but only about half a million jobs. Some cities in the County have actually lost jobs in that period, while others have added many new jobs. Much of the reason for that disparity is that many cities are substantially more proactive than others about attracting and retaining quality jobs that pay good salaries and generate healthy tax revenues. A more business-friendly climate in each of our local cities will be needed to ensure that LA County meets its growing population’s need for an array of good jobs that contribute to the economic well being of the region and provide the personal income (and municipal tax base) that sustains the quality of life for all Angelenos.

This year’s Eddy Awards also honored City National Bank and Toyota for their leadership and outstanding contributions to the economic prosperity of the region. For more than 50 years, City National Bank, California’s premier private and business bank, and the largest bank headquartered in LA County, has been helping entrepreneurs and key industries on “the way up” to greater prosperity and economic growth. Toyota has become the anchor of the County’s international auto industry, which provides more than 15,000 quality jobs and also generates nearly $45 billion dollars in annual sales. Toyota believes that helping people improve the quality of life in their communities is an essential corporate responsibility. Education is the focus of Toyota's giving, with emphasis on primary and secondary schooling. City National Bank Chairman and CEO Russell Goldsmith accepted the award on behalf of CNB. Irv Miller, Group Vice President and Chair of Toyota’s 50th anniversary committee, accepted the award for Toyota.

About the LAEDC

The LAEDC, the region’s premier business leadership organization, is a private, non-profit organization established in 1981 with a mission to attract, retain, and grow business and jobs in Los Angeles County. Since 1996, the LAEDC has helped retain or create more than 122,680 jobs, providing $5 billion in direct economic impact from salaries and $83 million in annual tax revenue benefit to Los Angeles County. For more information, please visit http://www.laedc.org.

About the Eddy

The Eddy Awards were introduced by the LAEDC in 1996 to celebrate individuals and organizations that demonstrate exceptional contributions to positive economic development in the region. This year, we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the LAEDC, as well as introducing the “Most Business-Friendly City” in LA County award. For more information about the Eddy Awards, please visit http://www.laedc.org/eddy.

Past Eddy honorees include:

Richard Ziman, Arden Realty * Janice Bryant Howroyd, Act1 * Liam McGee, Bank of America * Monica Lozano, La Opinión * George Deukmejian, 35th Governor of California * Eli Broad, The Broad Foundation * Tim Leiweke, Anschutz Entertainment Group * Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archdiocese of Los Angeles * James Thomas, Thomas Properties Group * Michael Antonovich, LA County Supervisor * David Baltimore, CALTECH * Richard Riordan, Former LA Mayor * Steven Sample, USC * George Graziadio, Imperial Bank * Beverly O’Neill, Former Long Beach Mayor * Ed Roski, Majestic Realty Co. * John Bryson, Edison International & So Cal Edison * R. Thomas Decker, Bank of America.

(Editors: For media interviews call: George McQuade @ MAYO Communications, 818.340.5300 or 818.618.9229. For details about LAEDC and the history of the Eddy Awards please visit: http://www.laedc.org/eddy/. For more information about LAEDC contact Nhien Barros, 213.236.4816.)

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