The City of West Hollywood announces the launch of its Open My Business portal, a user-friendly online tool powered by OpenCounter. Open My Business has been developed to guide small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs through the process of site selection and to help them understand the costs and requirements of opening or expanding a business in WeHo.
“Small businesses are the engines of our local economy,” said West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “I’m thrilled to see our City develop innovative online tools that can assist people wishing to open or expand a business. The Open My Business portal helps streamline service delivery to residents by guiding applicants through permitting workflows so they can understand the full scope of their projects before they get started. This cuts down on trips to City Hall — saving applicants both time and money, and getting businesses open sooner.”
Open My Business is built around the City of West Hollywood’s zoning and land use regulations and provides users with a customized “roadmap” of requirements, which is helpful when assessing how to open or expand a business. Intuitive zoning maps reveal where a project is permitted, conditionally permitted, and prohibited in the City. Automatic permit scoping quickly reveals permit requirements based on site selection. Estimated fees are calculated in real-time as applicants enter project details. On summary pages, required permits are listed by department, with links to relevant permit application material. The project summary can also be downloaded as a PDF and shared with other members of the business team.
There are two specific tools in the Open My Business portal. The first, a Zoning Check tool, will allow users to explore where different business types are permitted throughout the City. The second, a Permit + Fees Check tool, is designed to help citizens understand the specific fees and permit requirements. Open My Business is powered by OpenCounter, a software firm that combines tech talent with public sector expertise.
This project is consistent with the City of West Hollywood’s Smart City Initiative, which works to holistically weave technology into the fabric of the city to improve the quality of life, health, safety, and economic prosperity of residents. The WeHo Smart City Strategic Plan addresses local and regional urban challenges with a focus on five core subject areas: Sustainability, Mobility, Accessibility, Resiliency, and Transparency (SMART). For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/smartcity or www.wehosmartcity.org.
The City of West Hollywood is home to innovative industries and a magnet for highly skilled professionals. Companies ranging from retail, tourism and nightlife, restaurants, entertainment and media, as well as arts and design are drawn to West Hollywood’s creative workforce as well as its high quality of life. The City’s Economic Development Department assists companies and business owners with business planning processes. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/business.
The Open My Business portal is accessible on the City’s website at www.weho.org/openmybusiness.