The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: State official says Torrance is the "biggest loser" over Toyota's move

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Good morning! Welcome to KPCC's business blog, The Breakdown. Every weekday, our staff compiles a list of interesting business stories in the region.

  • A state official says City of Torrance is "the biggest loser" for failing to convince Toyota to keep thousands of jobs there (Press-Telegram). Jonathan Kaji, who is on the California Economic Development Commission, told the Press-Telegram, “I believe that due to complacency, arrogance, laziness and the belief that Toyota Motor Sales was ‘too big to leave,’ the city staff failed to launch a coordinated effort to retain Toyota." Toyota plans to move its U.S. headquarters and 3,000 jobs from Torrance to Texas (KPCC).
  • DirecTV may be considering a merger with AT&T (Wall Street Journal). 
  • Funding for fair housing services in Orange County has declined (OC Weekly). Reporter Charles Lam says in 2007, Santa Ana had $72,396 for fair housing services, compared to $67,517 in 2014.
  • MemorialCare Health System and Cedars-Sinai launch a new venture to fund start-ups (Press-Telegram). 
  • Tesla says it is now considering California as a location for its battery plant—but its CEO says California "is in the improbable, but not impossible, category at this point." (re/code).
  • The legalization of marijuana in some states has caused a growth of marijuana-related businesses (Los Angeles Times). Reporter David Pierson tells the story of Ben Wu who quit his job at WedBush Capital Partners to become the head of a company that makes kid-safe plastic cannabis containers. Earlier this year, the government issued a roadmap to banks on how to deal with legal marijuana-related businesses (KPCC).
  • Say bye to the free city-wide wi-fi network in Riverside (City News Service). The news outlet says the city's wi-fi network, which covers two-thirds of the city will end and be replaced with just a few wi-fi hot spots.
  • Even kids can rent their own cars. Mattel partnered with car rental agency Europcar to let children rent Hot Wheels cars while their parents signed up to rent real cars (Ad Age).

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee.

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