These may be the most difficult times Culver City’s business community has ever experienced. National unemployment is at a level never seen before in modern American history. Our business community needs a helping hand at this unprecedented time, which is why Culver City acted quickly—beginning March 20th—to help businesses:
We prohibited commercial evictions due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, through at least May 31st.
We delayed the deadline for Culver City business taxes by two months, until June 1st.
We waived the outdoor dining license fee for the duration of the emergency.
We waived the valet parking license fee for the duration of the emergency.
We suspended restrictions on outdoor business signage to allow businesses to communicate that they are open for pick-up and delivery of food.
We permitted temporary parking in loading zones and rideshare pickup zones.
We waived fees at parking meters for the first fifteen minutes.
We increased free parking at City parking garages from one hour to two hours.
We cut by 50% the monthly parking fees at City parking garages.
We shelved a proposal for residential rental unit registration fees.
We partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to organize on an ongoing COVID-19 Business Roundtable. At this weekly meeting open to all Culver City businesses, businesses can speak directly to two Council Members and Culver City’s Economic Development team. The meeting has made it simple for businesses to express concerns, ask questions, and learn about resources and opportunities that we have identified.
We are also partnering with the Chamber of Commerce to hold a webinar for businesses on Friday, April 17th at 12:30 p.m., to explain the latest public health requirements for businesses and ongoing business assistance resources.
Culver City’s Economic Development team is actively monitoring programs and resources available through federal, state and county governments to help small businesses and employers navigate this economic disruption.
We have created a COVID-19 business information webpage where businesses can find assistance and resources.
We have made available dedicated Culver City Economic Development team members to work with individual businesses one-on-one to assist each business with its challenges.
Businesses with questions or concerns about any of the above items can email Culver City’s Economic Development team or call them at (310) 253-5765.
Today I am recommending that the City stop any planning to place a measure to increase business taxes on the November 2020 ballot. Culver City’s business taxes are substantially lower than other cities in the region, and our City government faces enormous fiscal challenges while serving more community needs than ever before. However, we need to do everything we can during the coming months to support our business community. Now is not the time for increasing taxes on our businesses.
We appreciate our businesses’ cooperation with the “Safer at Home” order, which has been in place for several weeks. There are early signs that our partnership has paid off, and we have begun to flatten the curve. As we gradually begin to reopen the economy over the coming months, in coordination with the State and region, we will continue to clearly communicate new regulations and best practices necessary to protect public health. I recommend that businesses sign-up for coronavirus email updates from the City and check the City’s coronavirus webpage often to stay in touch with the latest information.
The Culver City community is fortunate to have its businesses community as a strong partner. We have already seen many businesses immediately step up to volunteer to help in creative ways, such as a distillery making hand sanitizer for homeless individuals, numerous offers to provide space for emergency response, a business organizing grocery distribution, and a store offering to set aside key staples for vulnerable residents. We look forward to continuing to work with our business community during this historic crisis.
These are the early days of a crisis that is likely to last 12-18 months, with the recovery likely taking years. The City will be here for Culver City’s business community for the duration. We will keep the lines of communication open and stay in touch with businesses’ needs. We will monitor opportunities from and advocate for assistance from federal, state and county governments. We will use the tools from our local government toolbox to assist businesses. We are here to help—just give us a call.
Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells