Los Angeles City Council member Bob Blumenfield successfully led an effort Tuesday to end one small but aggravating issue for local retailers during the pandemic: Fines for businesses that put up banners saying they were open.
Blumenfield, who represents the San Fernando Valley, moved to temporarily suspend sign laws that outlaw many banners and temporary signs. The motion, seconded by Paul Krekorian, who also represents the Valley, passed unanimously.
The issue was brought to light by NBC-4 Los Angeles, which reported more than a month ago that a Studio City café got a $356 fine from the city’s Building and Safety Department for putting up a banner outside that read “Open for takeout and delivery.” Neighboring businesses reportedly received similar fines because such signs violate the city’s sign ordinances.
Blumenfield said 14 businesses were cited over the past few months.
Although small in scale, the tickets were seen by the business community as an example of a city government that was unsympathetic to the existential trials of its restaurants and other small businesses.
“This is a common-sense step to help empower local businesses in the wake of a devastating emergency,” Blumenfield said in a press statement. “Neighborhood business owners continue to face mounting economic fears, and signs should be the last thing they should be worried about.”