Starting a Business in Burbank

Why Burbank? Burbank can be an excellent location for new or existing businesses. The City is very pro-business which is reflected in its low tax structure. There are no city income taxes and no gross receipts tax. Also, Burbank owns and operates its own municipal power company (see below) and was one of the few localities that didnt experience brown-outs during the electricity shortage of 2001. The Burbank Chamber of Commerce offers all up-to-date City demographics, too. And the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation named Burbank as one of the five most business friendly communities in Los Angeles County! However, commercial space in Burbank is extremely tight which reflects the continued demand for available office space — if you will need space soon, you may wish to begin looking now.

Resources. Burbank’s Team Business links the best resources for taining, consulting and access to capital with those Burbank residents who want to start a business and business owners who are poised for growth. The City has partnered with CHARO Community Development Corporation, Insight Strategies, and the Chamber of Commerce to maximize resourses. Team Business offers “business bootcamp” classes which include information on loans, financing, marketing, accounting, etc. for a tiny registration fee. “TB” also offers free consulting! Please visit their website at www.burbankca.org/redevelopment/teambusiness.htm for more information on this outstanding program or call them at 818-238-5198. The Community Development Department and Planning Department can extremely helpful in assisting start-up businesses and can provide resources help with consulting, training, promotion and workforce solutions! Please visit the departments website at www.burbankca.org/redevelopment for information on obtaining business licenses, permitting, etc. If you’re searching for commercial lease space, please contact me.

The Community Development Department also publishes an economic profile for each quarter. These are numerous reports generated from different departments of the City and outside sources regarding the current econimic climate. The reports include info on interest rates, real estate, commercial activity, airport travel, building permits, and lots of statistics. To get yourself on the mailing list, please visit www.ci.burbank.ca.us.

Burbank Water and Power has great programs to promote energy efficiency for Burbank businesses. These include a free energy survey and up to $1,000 free retrofits. BWP will also give cash rebates for businesses replacing old equipment with efficient equipment. Go to www.BurbankWaterandPower.com for details.

BWP will also provide free shade trees to qualifying businesses to assist with energy conservation. A city arborist will consult on planning and placement — and a single business can receive up to 20 free trees!

The Valley Economic Development Center also partners with Burbank and offers SBA info, loan guarantees, training, etc. They can be reached at 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91403; 818-907-9977; www.vedc.org.

Job Hunting? Or Seeking Employees? Burbanks Workforce Connection offers free resources including internet access with thousands of job postings, phones, photocopiers, fax machines and work training programs for individuals with disabilities. Contact them at 818-238-jobs or www.burbankworkforce.org.

Burbank Chamber of Commerce is one of the most proactive local CofCs in Southern California. They are located at 200 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502, 818-846-3111, www.BurbankChamber.org. The membership benefits to local businesses include legislative advocacy, networking opportunites, professional development and members-only referrals. Make sure to stop by and pick-up a “Guide to Burbank 2005” which contains contact info for city officials, local parks and recreation facilities, schools, etc., shopping and entertainment.

Update for 2014: If you’re interested in starting a business in Magnolia Park, Burbank City Council has approved the formation of a cooperative organization that aims to pool its resources in order to enhance the district’s commercial climate. This assessment will be square-footage-based and will be applied to marketing, special events and area maintenance.

Interested in staying up to date with the evolving issues of sustainability and zero waste? For more information, please call the Burbank Recycle Center, visit www.Burbankgreenalliance.org or email zerowaste@ci.burbank.ca.us.

Of course, if you are seeking to lease or buy commercial real estate space in Burbank, Toluca Lake, Studio City or anywhere in the east San Fernando Valley, please contact Judy Graff at 818-370-4837. You may also want to check out Judy’s blog at sfvrealestate.blogspot.com.