Global LA eyes international business in runup to 2028 Olympics – San Bernardino Sun

Global LA, a public/private partnership created by the Los Angeles mayor’s office, is working to lure international businesses to the greater L.A. area in the run-up to L.A.’s summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2028.

Debbie Adler, the organization’s CEO, said activities surrounding the games will open lots of doors before, during and after the events.

“There is no question that the Olympics will create economic opportunities for anyone who wants to benefit — from small businesses to large companies,” she said. “I personally think it’s limited only by imagination.”

Global LA aims to help international companies and investors by:

—Connecting them with local agencies and organizations that can facilitate their plans to operate from L.A.

—Guiding them toward information and associations specific to their industry

—Connecting them with service partners, potential clients and supply-chain companies

—Supporting visiting government and business-trade missions to the area

—Collaborating on strategies to forge new partnerships and opportunities

The region boasts an economy that hit $1.6 trillion in 2021. It it home to six commercial airports, the largest port complex in the Western hemisphere and is home to four of the nation’s top 50 universities — CalTech, UCLA, USC and Pepperdine.

But the region’s high cost of living and stringent business mandates figure into the mix as well, according to Adler.

“Those are the challenges we have,” she said. Still, Adler figures those concerns should be offset, in part, by the region’s weather, skilled labor pool and mindset of innovation.

April Ross, left, of the United States, and teammate Alix Klineman celebrate winning a women’s beach volleyball Gold Medal match against Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Launched in November 2021, Global LA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 supported by Southern California businesses, civic leaders and economic development organizations. It receives about $500,000 in annual funding from the city with additional funds coming from member organizations, Adler said.

“One of my first priorities is to raise more money and bring in more members,” Adler said. “That would enable us to do a large global marketing campaign.”

Global LA is focusing heavily on attracting businesses involved in sustainability, transportation and logistics, entertainment and technology (including gaming), advanced manufacturing, biotech/lifesciences and aerospace.

“We’re hoping to attract international companies that will stay beyond the Olympics,” Adler said. “We’d like to see a tsunami of businesses that would use the Olympics as a platform to subcontract and find vendors within the L.A. ecosystem.”

VinFast, a Vietnamese maker of electric cars and SUVs, unveiled new dealerships in Santa Monica and Commerce last month. Nina Hachigian, L.A.’s deputy mayor of international affairs, cited VinFast as an example of the kind of companies the city hopes to attract leading up to L.A.’s summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2028. (Photo courtesy of VinFast)

Nina Hachigian, L.A.’s deputy mayor of international affairs, cited VinFast, as a prime example of the kind of companies the city hopes to attract.

The Vietnamese maker of electric cars and SUVs, made a splash in July with the unveiling of six California showrooms, including new dealerships in Santa Monica and Commerce.

VinFast’s product lines include the full battery-electric VF e35 and VF e36 SUV models, which are equipped with a variety of smart features, including lane assist, collision warning, driver monitoring, fully automated parking, voice assist and e-commerce services.

Lured by a $20.5 million state tax credit, VinFast is building its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, a move that builds on the company’s initial $200 million investment in California.

Global LA doesn’t provide any incentives beyond what the city, state and federal government offer, but businesses can tap into CalCompetes, LA Opportunity Zones and LA Promise Zones.

CalCompetes is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to locate or stay and grow in California. Applicants are evaluated on 12 factors, including the number of full-time jobs being created, the amount of investment and the strategic importance of the business to the state or region.

LA Promise Zones offer tax incentives for businesses that hire in poor urban communities, and Opportunity Zones include tax incentives for businesses looking to invest in economically-distressed communities.

“It’s a very competitive world out there,” Hachigian said. “Many cities in the U.S. have very aggressive attraction campaigns to get businesses to set up there. Phoenix even has someone in L.A. to attract business to Phoenix.”

Global LA’s membership base of companies and nonprofits includes The Walt Disney Co., the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, City National Bank, East West Bank, Evite, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), and WasteFuel. Global LA partners include LA28 (the city Olympics organizing committee) and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, among others.

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