A man rides his bike along the water at Harry Bridges Memorial Park with Downtown Long Beach in the background Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

It’s that time again—the gifts, the feasts and the Christmas trees have all come and gone.

With just a few days left of 2022, it’s time to look back at what the year meant for some of the biggest industries in Long Beach.

Whether it’s trade, real estate or health care, it’s fair to say the year has brought its challenges to businesses across the country—and those in Long Beach were no exception. But 2022 also marked some major updates to Long Beach institutions like the Queen Mary and Community Hospital. And we can’t forget the historic election of the city’s first Black mayor.

Over the course of this week, the Business Journal will take a look at some of the most consequential news that impacted the Long Beach business community this year:

  • The San Pedro Bay ports saw their backlogs come to an end, but they also lost a significant chunk of their market share to their East Coast counterparts.
  • After a pandemic-fueled buying frenzy, residential real estate in Long Beach finally cooled in response to dramatic interest rate hikes; office vacancies, meanwhile, remain high.
  • The city saw its biggest surge of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic first hit in 2020.
  • Homelessness spiked 62% since 2020, and Downtown businesses experienced an uptick in crime.

It’s clear the challenges—most of which stem from the pandemic that continues to linger—have been significant. But this was also the year that Long Beach’s rebound from the worst of the COVID crisis became clear.

Tourism in the city made a strong comeback. The Queen Mary welcomed tour-goers for the first time in two-and-a-half years. The owners of Community Hospital worked on plans for a new wellness campus. And community groups banded together to revitalize Lincoln Park—a crucial step to help bring Downtown Long Beach into a new chapter.

As Long Beach looks to a new year ahead, it seems fitting that the city closed out 2022 with the inauguration of a new slate of elected officials, including that of Mayor Rex Richardson.

There’s plenty to reflect on.

In this final week of 2022, we’ll take a glimpse at the year we’ve all been through—the good and the bad. And we’ll prepare to celebrate a new start with 2023.

Editor’s note: John Molina is the owner of MWN, which owns Community Hospital. He is also the primary investor in the parent company that owns the Long Beach Business Journal.

Hayley Munguia

Hayley Munguia is editor of the Long Beach Business Journal.