LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA — Long Beach Economic Development Director Sergio Ramirez has been pounding the streets.
Not a day has gone by since the coronavirus shut down businesses more than a month ago that Ramirez hasn’t been on the phone with a developer, business owner or prospective client about the city of Long Beach.
“We’re still open for business,” Ramirez said.
There is a sense of urgency in his voice.
Like many cities across the country, Long Beach has been hit hard by the stay-at-home orders that have kept people indoors and either shut down or limited business operating hours.
Budget season is right around the corner and many municipalities and states are reporting severe shortfalls. The city of Los Angeles is forecasting a $230M shortfall. Fresno’s budget is down about $39M for the rest of this fiscal year and through the next year, according to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mesa, Arizona, is projecting $45M in revenue loss.
“For Long Beach, we’ve lost ToT, tourism, airport and sales tax,” Ramirez said. “Like all the cities, all the major forms of revenue have been completely hit very hard. We’re going to have to look now how we’re going to create more revenue.”
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