The local diner. The neighborhood theater. The corner stores, watering holes, shops, and services that helped define our communities still play a key role in our daily lives. They help make Long Beach, Long Beach. Yet these businesses can face challenges as the city evolves and longtime proprietors retire. To help these neighborhood gems continue to thrive, Long Beach Heritage launched a new program in 2020. The Long Beach Legacy Business Program recognizes and promotes longtime establishments that contribute to our city’s culture and identity. By raising their profile and encouraging their use, the program seeks to help these businesses serve the community for years to come.
A legacy business can be anything from a deli to a law firm to a tattoo parlor, as long as it:
A. Has operated for at least 35 years in Long Beach
B. Has a combination of at least two of the following qualities:
- Has operated in Long Beach for at least 25 years
- Contributes to a sense of history in the surrounding neighborhood
- Has distinctive architecture, interior design, or landscaping
- Supports the neighborhood’s cultural life, diversity, or identity
The concept of legacy businesses isn’t new. Since 1993, the City of Barcelona has honored some of its oldest businesses with plaques denoting their years of service to the city, in a program called Guapos per sempre/Forever Beautiful. Similar programs exist in Buenos Aires and London. Since San Francisco Heritage brought the concept to the U.S. in 2013, it has spread to cities including Seattle; Washington, DC; San Antonio; Missoula, Montana—and now, Long Beach!
- Branded signage, including a wall plaque and window decal
- Inclusion on the Long Beach Legacy Business printed guide and online map, distributed citywide and updated annually
- Use of the Long Beach Legacy Business logo and certification for marketing and promotion
- Promotion by Long Beach Heritage through its website, social media, newsletter, emails, and media outreach
- Additional promotional assistance from program partners, such as Project Equity
- Connections to other resources for small businesses, such as facade improvement grants and programs to help retiring business owners who’d like their business to continue
The Legacy Business Committee, Board of Directors, and Long Beach Council Members will nominate the first round of inductees to the program. Businesses may also self-nominate using the application form found here.
Questions? Have a Legacy Business suggestion? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (562) 493-7019.