Welcome to Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo Business Association
Little Tokyo Business Improvement District
In 2003, the Los Angeles City Council approved the formation of the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District, which since then has been managed by the Little Tokyo Business Association, a nonprofit organization with roots dating back to the early 1900s. 

As one of only three merchant-based B.I.D.s in the city of Los Angeles, our budget is relatively small. We constantly face challenges to maintain the level of Safe & Clean services our community deserves and needs. 

After months of deliberation and with support from Council District 14, the LTBA Board of Directors made the strategic decision in the best interest of our community to terminate the merchant-based B.I.D. by the end of this year and replace it with a property-based B.I.D. capable of providing an expanded safety program, daily street cleanup, professional-level promotion and marketing, and legacy business incentives, among other vital services.

This is a major and necessary step forward that will benefit our entire community, including property owners, businesses and business professionals, doctors, insurance agencies, cultural schools/classes, service providers, residents, workers, and other stakeholders by: (a) creating jobs; (b) ensuring that our community retains and sustains its unique character, history, and stability; and (c) instituting specialized programs that support the retention of legacy businesses. We need your help to do this.

Facts You Should Know About Little Tokyo

1.Readers of the Los Angeles Downtown News voted Little Tokyo B.I.D. the Best B.I.D. in Downtown Los Angeles three years in a row—2021, 2022, and 2023.

2.Little Tokyo is home to two world class museums, seven religious institutions, two theaters, three daycare centers, 100 restaurants and snack shops, and 70 gift and specialty shops.

3.Approximately 8.5 million people visited Little Tokyo in 2023, and over half of them were repeat visitors. That’s an increase of about 1 million visits over the previous year. On average, individuals come to Little Tokyo 2.33 times per year, and about one-fourth, or 2.1 million people travel over 50 miles to get here. That says a lot about our hospitality and customer service. 

4.With the opening of the Metro Regional Connector Station last summer, our 139-year old historic community became one of the busiest transportation hubs in Los Angeles County, second only to Union Station.
Frequently Asked Questions

A business improvement district is a geographically defined area within the City of Los Angeles, in which services, activities and programs are paid for through a special assessment which is charged to all members within the district in order to equitably distribute the benefits received and the costs incurred to provide the agreed-upon services, activities and programs. The assessment money is collected by the City or by the County through a special contractual arrangement with the city.

Currently in California and in the City of Los Angeles, the establishment of business improvement districts is authorized by two state laws--one that allows for the creation of merchant-based special assessment districts and one for property-based districts. In both cases, a majority of business owners or commercial property owners in a given area decide to acquire special benefits and to pay for those benefits themselves. 


The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance establishing the merchant-based Little Tokyo B.I.D. in 2003. For 20 years, the Little Tokyo Business Association has managed the B.I.D. continuously. Although other merchant-based B.I.D.s exist in other parts of L.A., the vast majority of B.I.D.s are property-based, where property owners are assessed based on square footage.

Create a positive identity that recognizes the history, cultural identity, and unique character of the Little Tokyo community.

Maintain Little Tokyo as a desirable destination--a place in which to live, work, visit, shop, dine, be entertained, attend cultural events, worship, and contract for services.

Retain, support, and incentivize legacy businesses, expand existing businesses, attract residents, visitors, and new business startups, especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Implement a variety of means to promote Little Tokyo commercial district to increase current sales and develop future retail sales.

Strengthen the relationship between the Little Tokyo business community and various government agencies to increase access to technical support, grants, loans, and other types of support services. .

The bulk of the funds collected through the Little Tokyo B.I.D. assessment is applied toward security. Our safety ambassadors patrol the area on foot and on bicycles. The B.I.D. also provides cleanup services and marketing for the area.
Vote "Yes" and Return Your Petition by March 1 
Little Tokyo Business Improvement District
Prepares to Meet Challenges of New Era