L.A. city leaders like to make much of how business friendly they are, what with the bending over backwards for a proposed NFL stadium and the $1 million of your money being given to a rich architectural firm that would have relocated downtown anyway.

But for all the hot air that comes from the City Hall podiums, our fair burg still ranks middle-of-the-pack when it comes to small-business-friendliness.

That, at least, is according to American Express' latest OPEN Independent Retail Index:

Los Angeles has strong independent retailers, but its independent eating and drinking establishments are a smaller part of the local economy compared to the national benchmark.

How kind of Amex. It's really a watered-down way of saying, You suck, Los Angeles.

How else could you explain that, among 15 major cities, from New York to Phoenix, L.A. came in dead middle at number 7 in terms of small-business-friendliness.

Credit: American Express

Credit: American Express

That's pretty sad, given that many economists believe small business and entrepreneurship are keys to a economic recovery.

L.A. is only the second-largest market in the nation (and it's number 1 status is debatable if you go metropolitan-region-to-metropolitan-region against New York), and we have America's largest port complex (San Pedro/Long Beach), which rakes in all kinds of stuff from China, yet we can only rank middle-of-the-road in small business viability?


Yeah, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is known proclaim L.A. the capital of this and that (might we suggest glowsticks and yoga pants?) can now say we're the global leader in small business mediocrity.


LA Weekly