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Key Los Angeles Economic, Government, Business Organizations Form Unprecedented Partnership To Promote The Economic Benefits Of Seismic Resiliency To Ensure Sustainability

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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Four key Los Angeles organizations working together to promote the economic benefits of seismic resiliency will hold a press conference to announce their new partnership. This unprecedented alliance of economic, government and business is joining forces to help area businesses ensure economic sustainability in the case of a major seismic event.

Experts will also discuss key findings in a just-released white paper: "Economic Benefits of Earthquake-Resistant Buildings."

Leadership from Optimum Seismic, Inc., The Los Angeles Business Federation (BizFed), Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), and Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will gather at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at SCAG offices, 900 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1700, Los Angeles, 90017.

In advance of the 12th annual Great California ShakeOut, these leaders will announce their alliance to educate and encourage businesses to retrofit and undertake other risk management activities to ensure the economic health of their enterprise and the entire community.

"Protecting our existing business community and growing new, high-quality jobs in our area is a vital part of the mission of the Southern California Association of Governments," says SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise.

The timely "Economic Benefits of Earthquake-Resistant Buildings" white paper, just released from Optimum Seismic, Inc. and U.S. Resiliency Council, explores research and case studies from varied sources to demonstrate that earthquake resistant buildings are a sound economic investment for business and government entities, particularly those that serve or employ large numbers of people.

"Building owners invest a lot in sustainability, but resiliency is the foundation of every building," says Ali Sahabi, a leader in Southern California sustainability and COO of Optimum Seismic, Inc. "Even if a structure has the latest green-building materials and energy-efficient systems, if it can't survive a major seismic event, it's not truly sustainable."

The press conference will also include comments from Tracy Hernandez, BizFed founding CEO; Stephen Cheung, executive vice president, LAEDC; and Kome Ajise, executive director, Southern California Association of Governments.

"I saw firsthand the devastation to the business community after the Northridge Earthquake, as many businesses never reopened and thousands of jobs were lost in the immediate aftermath," says Bill Allen, CEO of LAEDC. "Through our participation in Bizfed's event series, and through our guide, Preparing for Business after an Earthquake, we are encouraging business owners to take steps toward preparedness every week, which will help them recover after an earthquake."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates 40 percent of businesses that close their doors as a result of disasters will never reopen. When a building collapses, an owner or lessee is left with no operating business and communities can be extensively damaged as workers lose their livelihoods. Governments can go bankrupt through loss of revenue streams such as property taxes. California's economy will take a severe blow if small businesses cannot reestablish themselves and larger companies relocate to other states or countries.

USC researchers estimate the eight-county region of Southern California could suffer property damage of $113 billion in a major earthquake, with additional business-related impacts of $68 billion or more. Evan Reis, co-founder of the US Resiliency Council and a structural engineer, estimates that more than 90 percent of buildings in Los Angeles don't comply with modern building codes.

The press conference immediately follows the third in a series of earthquake preparedness seminars for businesses focused on creating a safer Los Angeles County, sponsored by BizFed, LAEDC, Optimum Seismic, Inc., and SCAG. The seminars titled "Creating a Safer Los Angeles County," were organized in the aftermath of this summer's 7.1 earthquake in Ridgecrest and widespread destruction caused by wildfires in surrounding areas to help local business leaders prepare for imminent natural disaster in Los Angeles County. The first seminars were held during September in Culver City and Torrance. Additional seminar dates and locations are:

The programs begin at noon and conclude at 2 p.m. The public can register at https://bizfedlacounty.org/resiliency.

"These seminars will present timely and relevant information on how to protect your business, property, employees and tenants," says Hernandez of BizFed. "We encourage local businesses and organizations to learn how they can prepare for and respond to the natural hazards facing all communities in Los Angeles County."

About Optimum Seismic, Inc.
The Optimum Seismic team has been making California cities safer since 1984 by providing full-service earthquake engineering and building design services on multifamily residential, commercial and industrial buildings throughout the state. Optimum Seismic's licensed, bonded and insured engineering and construction experts have completed more than 3,000 projects. Optimum Seismic's earthquake retrofit services include work on soft-story multifamily apartment buildings, unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings and tilt-up, non-ductile concrete and steel moment frame commercial buildings. For more information, contact Optimum Seismic at (833)-978-7664 or visit www.optimumseismic.com.

About Los Angeles County Business Federation
With more than 180 business organizations representing 400,000 employers with 3.5 million employees throughout L.A. County, BizFed is a massive, diverse grassroots alliance that advocates for policies and projects that strengthen the regional economy. Leveraging power in numbers, BizFed explores all sides of critical issues and takes action to make a difference for business growth, job creation, and economic vitality in Southern California. More information can be found at https://bizfedlacounty.org/.

About Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) is advancing opportunity and prosperity for all. This is achieved via collaborative economic development leadership, objective economic research and analysis, strategic assistance to business, education and government partners, and targeted public policy. LAEDC was established in 1981 as a private, non-profit, public benefit corporation. More info at https://laedc.org/.

About Southern California Association of Governments
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the nation's largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and nearly 19 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future. For more information about SCAG's regional efforts, visit www.scag.ca.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Emanuela Cariolagian, 323-644-2111 or Paola Flores, 323-204-2803

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SOURCE Optimum Seismic, Inc.; The Los Angeles Business Federation (BizFed)

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