Strengthening Business Relations Using Strategic Marketing and Communications

Hundreds of new businesses open their doors every month in Los Angeles, providing jobs in vibrant business districts that knit together the fabric of Los Angeles’ many diverse neighborhoods. Many of these businesses are minority-owned and operated and are located in underserved communities that haven’t historically had as much access to the vast array of city resources.

The city of Los Angeles is working to strengthen its small businesses by developing better communications with business owners about available resources. FUSE Fellow Rafael Bracero will help modernize and improve the city’s communications to help business owners avoid wasted hours at City Hall and financial penalties. This includes plans to clarify the rules and requirements for tax obligations for business owners, some of whom ultimately fail because they are later penalized for failing to register their business with the city or misreport their tax obligations due to confusion with how the materials are currently presented.

The department has a renewed focus on drastically improving the customer experience of interacting with the department and sees an opportunity for improved communications with taxpayers by ensuring that information is concise, accessible and human-centered. The ultimate goal is to create a plan that will help keep small businesses thriving so that they can be productive in the community for years to come.