The LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce and the board of the Gateway to LA Business Improvement District have unanimously voted to oppose the City of Los Angeles’s attempt to set the salaries of businesses in the private sector on the basis of their proximity to city assets.

The City of Los Angeles is proposing to expand the application of the living-wage ordinances beyond businesses directly contracted with the city. The proposed legislation would extend the existing ordinances to include hotels along the Century Corridor.

“Applying this legislation to Century Corridor hotels disproportionately burdens one business group and one business district in Los Angeles,” said Laurie Hughes, executive director of the Gateway to LA Business Improvement District.

Proponents have tried to assert that high occupancy rates near LAX correlate to higher-than-average gross profits that would more than cover the costs of the proposed increases. Century Corridor hotels, however, yield profits similar to equivalent downtown hotels.

Studies show that, while hotels along the Century Corridor are among the busiest in the city, they receive the lowest rates per room. Many hotel guests benefit from large room discounts near LAX because of surrounding competition and corporate discounts granted to airline companies.

“This proposal sets a bad precedent for businesses in Los Angeles,” said Steve Donell, president of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce. “The idea of the City Council setting private sector salaries sends shivers down the spines of the business community. This policy will, if approved, contribute to the perception by many that it is difficult to conduct business in the City of Los Angeles.”

Members of these organizations, which unanimously opposed the application of this ordinance to businesses not con- tracting with the city, fear expansion of this proposal to other areas throughout Los Angeles as the city government seeks to tie pay to proximity to city assets. Using this argument, businesses adjacent to fire stations, parks, and public buildings could be subject to living wage provisions.

Opponents believe this proposition sends the wrong message to business at a time when the city needs to be more competitive.

Hotels along the Century Corridor provide a vital service to Los Angeles, and stimulate prosperity in surrounding businesses. Hotels directly benefit the city by providing services to tourists and others who do business near the airport. Many businesses in the area depend on Century Corridor hotels.

Expanding the living wage ordinance to the private sector will increase the cost of business, discourage L.A. area business development and even encourage business relocation. Consequently, applying this legislation will have a negative ripple effect on other neighboring businesses and the L.A. business community as a whole.

Y’S MEN TO SELL HOLIDAY WREATHS — During its more than 50-year history, the Westchester Y’s Men’s (and Women’s) Club has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit the Westchester Family YMCA and community programs with its Christmas tree sales. This time-honored tradition has been replaced by the sale of fresh, fragrant Christmas wreaths and fresh decorated table centerpieces and mini-trees.

Whether you’re shopping for business associates, family or friends, these fresh Christmas decorations are perfect for the season and given for Y’s reasons.

Purchases will benefit Youth & Government, Youth Park, other Youth and Campership Programs, Scholarship Funds, YMCA Golf Tournaments, Airport Marina Counseling Service and National and International Y’s Men’s Clubs.

Contributions to building programs, repairs and maintenance and participation in annual fundraising campaigns expand the Club’s mission to work for a better community.

The Y’s Men’s Club will be doing business starting Monday, December 4th, with a warm welcome for old and new friends at the outside entrance to the Westchester Family YMCA, 8015 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Westchester.

To place presale orders or for more information, call Don Pierce, (310) 670-1756; Bob Neece, (310) 670-6350; or Julie Judge, (310) 670-6589.

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