This was supposed to be a very different edition of the Long Beach Business Journal. Our plan was to feature aspects of the event planning industry, which is part of the larger hospitality and tourism industry—an economic juggernaut in Long Beach, second in economic output only to the Port, goods movement and logistics industry.
It’s an industry which, according to a recent analysis by Beacon Economics, supported 18,652 jobs, created $687 million in total labor income, and generated an estimated $1.8 billion in total economic impact in the city last year.
Unfortunately, the rapidly evolving impacts of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, across the globe, the nation, the state and local communities warranted going in a different direction. Things are moving toward a period of great uncertainty in our community. Cancelation of conventions and community events, vanishing tourists and bans on large gatherings will have a significant impact in the short term for our local economy. This industry is facing immense challenges; local businesses are unsure of what’s next, people who rely on this industry and these businesses for their paychecks and livelihood are wondering what the future holds.
I don’t know when it will be over—no one does—but it will eventually be behind us, and our city and business leaders will set a course of action on how to move our community past this moment in time. We will recover and prosper again.
We’ve scaled down our coverage and the size of this edition to instead focus our attention on the latest developments from COVID-19 and what it means for local businesses and the economy. We’ve also taken the extraordinary step of declining and returning advertising commitments from our business partners working in the industry for this edition—supporting the resiliency of our community matters more than anything right now.
We will continue to robustly cover the challenges and questions we now face and we look forward to covering the triumphs ahead when our community is on the other side of this momentary crisis.
For the latest local developments on the coronavirus, please visit the Long Beach Post, our sister publication, where journalists are updating a blog with news and information in real time: https://lbpost.com/news/coronavirus-updates/.
Publisher, Long Beach Business Journal