The City of Long Beach online Business Portal, BizPort, has been recognized with a national Government Experience Award in the Government-to-Business category, by the Center for Digital Government.
“BizPort is literally a one-stop shop for every entrepreneur in Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “More than 200 entrepreneurs with all sorts of experience helped us create a tool that they themselves would like to use.”
BizPort was launched in October 2016 to increase the number of businesses that operate in Long Beach, by helping entrepreneurs easily find the information, requirements and forms needed to plan and build successful businesses.
“Opening a business can take a lot of time and energy,” said John Keisler, Director of Economic and Property Development. “We are leveraging technology to simplify the process and make Long Beach the city of opportunity for entrepreneurs.”
There were 12,500 users from October 2016 through August 2017. All BizPort information, including videos, is multi-lingual.
“The beauty of BizPort is its convenience and versatility,” said Bryan Sastokas, the City’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Technology and Innovation. “BizPort’s user-friendly interface is simple, intuitive and easy to use.”
BizPort automatically connects users to more than 100 different federal, state and local resources, plus it directly links to the following important areas:
BizPort information is regularly updated, and the City recently partnered with the California State University, Long Beach College of Business Administration to find new ways to improve that information.
BizPort was incubated by the City’s Innovation Team (i-team), and is implemented by the Departments of Economic and Property Development and Technology and Innovation.
The Center for Digital Government launched the Government Experience Awards this year to “celebrate achievements and learn best practices from states, cities and counties that have gone to the web and beyond to radically improve upon the experience of government, and push the boundaries of how services are delivered.”
Entries for all awards were judged on the following criteria; Accessibility; Actionable; Citizen Feedback; Consistency; Cross-Platform Approach; Data Integrations; Design/Interface; Development/Standards; Impact; Innovation; Partnerships; Use of Content; and User Flow.
The awards were presented on Friday, September 15, in Austin, Texas.
About the Innovation Team
Launched in 2012, the Innovation Teams Program is one of seven Government Innovation offerings at Bloomberg Philanthropies. Innovation teams (i-teams) function as in-house innovation consultants; helping agency leaders and staff go through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results. The City of Long Beach is one of 27 cities around the world that are participating in the program. Launched in 2015, Long Beach’s i-team works closely, and supportively, with their colleagues across city government — offering them a different set of tools and techniques to innovate more effectively. In partnership with these colleagues, the Long Beach i-team aims to deeply understand the problem they are trying to solve by building empathy for the people impacted by it and then work quickly and creatively to co-create and test solutions that deliver meaningful results for residents.