Economic Recovery


Establishing a Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Recovery who will lead a ‘Grow Long Beach’ Advisory Team to identify and pursue opportunities to attract businesses to our city

We will restructure the Mayor’s Office to include a dedicated focus on guiding Long Beach’s economic recovery. The Deputy Mayor of Economic Development will oversee a ‘Grow Long Beach” Advisory Team, which will create ongoing strategies to modernize our infrastructure, cut red tape to attract more businesses and investment, strengthen the region’s emerging sectors, like aerospace and technology, and support the entrepreneurs, small business owners, and employees who represent the backbone of our local job market.

Investing in infrastructure and housing production as economic drivers

Over the next eight years, there are significant opportunities to add thousands of high-quality jobs infrastructure projects, such as electrifying our Port and strengthening our grid to prepare for a zero-emission future of trucks at the Port, building the 26,500 units of housing that are required by State law, and continuing to upgrade aging infrastructure in the city. By prioritizing continuing to prioritize investment in infrastructure and housing, we can address our housing and homelessness crisis and create thousands of high-paying jobs for our residents.

Investing in aerospace, transportation, and technology to fuel the Long Beach economy

Long Beach has a tremendous advantage and boundless opportunity as a multimodal hub in the region and state with the Long Beach Airport, Port of Long Beach, and access to the Metro and rail. We are poised to be the epicenter for modern and emerging industries that boost our economy. We must maximize these thriving businesses, including aerospace, manufacturing, and renewable energy, while thoughtfully mitigating potential impacts on our neighborhoods.

Ensuring the Long Beach economy works for all

As the Long Beach economy recovers from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we use a data-driven strategy that centers on the needs of those most impacted to build a more inclusive, economically viable city where every resident can benefit from our city’s economic progress. Building an ‘Everyone In’ economy means establishing:

- Inclusive workforce development strategies that provide pathways to careers and employment for those experiencing barriers to employment, such as those formerly incarcerated

- Exploring community benefits packages that prioritize the hire of local workers, living wages, and local contracting opportunities for all major developments in the city

- Neighborhood revitalization efforts that incorporate arts and culture while preserving and expanding affordable housing options

- Authentic community engagement processes that inform local investment strategies 

Creating a standard of “ease, speed, and predictability” when doing business in our city 

Long Beach should have a welcoming, smooth and transparent process when opening a business and wrap-around support for supporting and expanding existing businesses. A commitment to ‘ease, speed, and predictability’ cuts the red tape and creates:

- Easy-to-navigate, streamlined processes for business permitting and licensing

- “Shot clock” on developments to give transparency and predictability on permitting and entitlement timelines

- Modernized permitting software to allow for online self-service portals to submit, pay and track progress on their projects electronically, as well as arrange inspections and communicate with City staff

- Efficient and well-staffed Permit Review Center to keep up with the demand

Supporting small businesses and diverse entrepreneurs 

The pandemic has taken an unimaginable toll on our city’s small businesses – particularly those owned by women, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color. As the backbone of our economy, we can better equip small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with programming and resources to promote their success, including:

- Establishing Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in disinvested commercial corridors while continuing to support existing BIDs

- Creating more opportunities for local businesses through city procurement and contracting, with a focus on ensuring greater access for business owners of color, women, and LGBTQ+ communities

- Greater technical assistance for aspiring entrepreneurs navigating City processes

- Engaging banks in a major effort to increase lending to viable small businesses, particularly those owned by marginalized groups

Stabilizing the Early Care and Education (ECE) sector to promote stable workforce participation

Ensuring access to quality, affordable childcare is critical to economic recovery. The pandemic highlighted that access to stable, quality childcare is essential, while lack of access continues to be an important barrier to economic participation, disproportionately impacting mothers and women of color. Investing in stabilizing the local ECE sector will be integral to our city’s full recovery.

Boosting arts and culture as economic drivers 

We know that the arts and culture sector is critical to success in local tourism, attracting business interests, economic development, and the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Creating a Cultural Preservation Fund dedicated to the establishment of Latino, African American, Cambodian, Tribal, and other cultural centers, can help to honor and preserve the unique cultures in our city and provide the infrastructure needed to build on the legacy of events like the Uptown Jazz Festival, Juneteenth Celebration, Día de los Muertos, Cambodian Town Parade and Festival, and more. Investing in arts and culture ensures that every neighborhood sees new, innovative art that engages residents in placemaking, healing, activism, and community building.

We are also fortunate to have world-class arts organizations in our backyard like the Long Beach Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Long Beach Camerata Singers, the Museum of Latin American Art, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. We must continue supporting and partnering with these established entities while ensuring that our local organizations and events have what they need to succeed.


Established Long Beach as a regional economic leader

Vice Mayor Richardson has been a dynamic leader in his capacity as past President of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) where he represented Long Beach and championed the development of multiple regional initiatives, including:

- Connect SoCal Plan - Connect SoCal is a long-range visioning plan that builds upon and expands land use and transportation strategies established over several planning cycles to increase mobility options and achieve a more sustainable growth pattern. It outlines more than $638 billion in transportation system investments through 2045 and was prepared through a collaborative, continuous, and comprehensive process within Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. Connect SoCal is an important planning document for the region, allowing project sponsors to qualify for federal funding.

- Inclusive Economic Recovery Strategy Plan - Approved in 2021, this plan establishes a roadmap for long-term, sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the six-county region. It includes specific recommendations in four focus areas – housing, transportation, growth sectors, and human capital – and identifies opportunities to promote equity-oriented industry growth, job creation, entrepreneurship, and small business success.

In addition, Vice Mayor Richardson has crafted policies and led innovative initiatives to boost our local economy for all.

- In 2017, he sponsored the Everyone In Economic Inclusion Initiative to create a local economy that includes and benefits every Long Beach resident. The Everyone In Implementation Plan includes policy recommendations for small business and diverse entrepreneurship; local, inclusive procurement; workforce and youth development; connectedness (economic resiliency) and housing and homeownership.

- In 2019, he led the establishment of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI), a Community Development Corporation (CDC), as the main objective of the Everyone In Economic Inclusion Initiative. LBCEI works to expand inclusive economic opportunities to build and sustain wealth for all communities in Long Beach.

Championed economic recovery for all during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Vice Mayor Richardson has been actively engaged in finding ways to support all aspects of the Long Beach economy to ensure an equitable, inclusive recovery, including:

- Leading City Council efforts to create a robust COVID-19 relief package for residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

- Advocating for the adoption of Hero Pay for Long Beach frontline grocery store workers.

- Championing the passage of Long Beach’s Right to Recall and Retention policies for hospitality and janitorial workers, the first and only policy of its kind in the nation.

- Leading the effort to ensure sick days for Long Beach workers, the first jurisdiction in California to do so.

Spearheaded the “Uptown Renaissance” and transformed the North Long Beach economy

In his two terms as the District 9 Councilmember, Vice Mayor Richardson has led North Long Beach on a “Roadmap to its Renaissance” by placing a focus on economic and community revitalization, with major infrastructure investments totaling $500 million in private and public funding, like the new Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, the Doris Topsy-Elvord Community Center at Houghton Park, and new retail development including the area’s first bank, while ensuring long-standing mom and pop businesses continue to thrive.

This work has been closely aligned with Vice Mayor Richardson’s major planning efforts to guide future development in Uptown and create a new vision in the community while continuing to benefit and serve residents and neighborhoods. In 2017, he authored and passed the implementation of the Uptown Planning Land Use and Neighborhood Strategy (UPLAN), a collaborative effort between the city and the North Long Beach community to create new mobility, land use, zoning, and housing strategies to improve quality of life and access to jobs, services, and community resources. Through a multi-year, community-centered process, community needs have been prioritized in zoning and transportation recommendations. In addition, the Neighborhood Mobility Enhancement Plan (NMEP) was also created to uplift community voices and priorities and provide an opportunity to enhance equity, safety, and connectivity of North Long Beach through mobility strategies, improvement projects, and programs.

Invested in arts and culture

Vice Mayor Richardson has a deep appreciation for the arts and culture in Long Beach. He strives to continually integrate the arts into major programming and development within Uptown and will continue that same emphasis for the whole City. Two major programs that the Vice Mayor has organized are:

- Uptown Jazz Festival - The Uptown Jazz Festival is an annual free community concert held at Houghton Park that features a taste of jazz sounds for all ages to enjoy. The event includes live performances, DJs, amazing food, numerous vendor booths, and a kids’ zone. The festival, going on its 11th year, continues to unite the North Long Beach community and attract thousands of annual attendees outside of the city.

- Creative Corridor Challenge - The Creative Corridor Challenge is an initiative to beautify various nuisance sites in North Long Beach, by utilizing art, sustainability, and civic engagement.

Thank you to the community leaders who shared their expertise and helped shape our platform:

  • Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Managing Director of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI)*
  • Dr. Seiji Steimetz, CSULB Professor and Chair of Economics*
  • Curt Castagna, President and CEO, Aeroplex*
  • Mike Clemson, Chair of Long Beach Transit Board of Directors*
  • Judy Estrada, Community Arts Consultant*
  • Romeo Garcia, Long Beach Small Business Owner
  • Tom Carpenter, Vice President, Frontier Real Estate Investments*
  • Jacqueline Case, Realtor/Manager, Berkshire Hathaway*
  • Anthony Pham, Campus President, Universal Technical Institute*

*Title for identification only