Supervisor Horvath Announces Research Into Supporting Local Small Businesses
By Keemia Zhang
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors organized discussions and resources to support small businesses last Tuesday morning in light of the ongoing SAG and WGA strikes impacting the city’s economy.
In a move to back striking writers and actors, members sent a letter urging the resumption of negotiations to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). A second motion presented by Supervisors Horvath and Barger to research programs to keep small businesses afloat was also approved, focusing on mom-and-pop shops and contractors serving the entertainment industry.
The strikes make up an ongoing Hollywood labor dispute, with issues surrounding AI creation, streaming revenues, minimum staffing levels, and residual pay at the heart of the conflicts.
“The people who power Los Angeles are on strike and deserve a fair deal,” Supervisor Horvath stated. “Instead of returning to the negotiating table, the (AMPTP) strategy is to inflict pain, causing people to lose their housing and livelihoods, with the futures of small businesses also on the line.” LA County’s Department of Economic Opportunity hosted a webinar yesterday for entertainment workers and businesses affected by the strikes.
Supervisors Horvath and Solis urged the AMPTP “to return to the negotiating table and end this strike by meeting a reasonable agreement.” SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland has estimated the actor’s strike could last into early 2024. “No one’s gonna force us to make a deal [..] let me be very, very clear: we will only make a deal that is fair for our members, and that respects them, and any deal less than that, there is no one that’s gonna force us to make that deal.”
During the 2007 writer’s strike, which lasted 99 days, the Los Angeles economy lost an estimated of $959.8 million. “The damage is incredible,” Supervisor Barger has noted. “People have no idea the trick effect, the domino effect of people being out of work because the discretionary funding is gone as it relates to how they spend their money.” The WGA and SAG strikes have been ongoing for 91 and 18 days, respectively. Todd Holmes, an entertainment industry professor at CSUN, has estimated the strikes could cost the greater Los Angeles economy around $3 billion.
After the SAG strike, the AMTP acknowledged that the union’s choice would result in “financial hardship for countless thousands of people who depend on the industry.” The organization has reportedly refused to meet with WGA negotiators, with some sources saying that they hoped the financial toll on middle-class writers could break the union’s resolve. At the same time, SAG has publicly stated that the AMTP has refused to come to the table.
Mayor Bass previously urged both the studios and unions to work to come to a stable negotiation, saying in a statement that “This affects all of us and is essential to our overall economy. I call upon all sides to come to the table and work around the clock until an equitable agreement is reached.”