Editor's Note: This is the fifth annual report focusing on young businesspeople who are making a name for themselves locally. As part of the coverage, we selected 40 "honorees" to profile in the pages inside but talked to dozens of others under 40 as part of the overall coverage.

As the owner of a graphic arts company, Scott Watters deals with business owners just starting out.

From these people, Watters gets asked about creating logos, obtaining trademarks, or how to properly fill out DBA's.

So if Watters were in a position of influence in the business community he would want to see more done to help start-ups get the information they need.

"They'll do their DBA and get charged hundreds of dollars when they can do it themselves for less than $100," said Watters, owner of Watters Edge Design in Santa Clarita.

The Business Journal asked a sampling of 40 Under 40 nominees what changes they would make "if they were in charge of things" in the business community. A common theme emerged: More can be done to make relations between government and private enterprise work more smoothly.

Through his development company Pacific Realty Ventures, Daniel Khakshouri has built or converted multiple housing projects in the San Fernando Valley.

But he goes up against what he described as an inefficient process when it comes to getting approval from the city.

Khakshouri said he has paid up to $20,000 in a single application fee to have city staff review his plans but doesn't get much service back.

"I wouldn't mind paying a little more if they could get the staff to handle it in a more expeditious way," said Khakshouri, who bought his first condominium building when 21 years old.

Jeff McConnell and Joshua Mann are at the forefront of the intersection of private enterprise and government.

McConnell is a lobbyist with Arnie Berghoff & Associates and also serves as chairman of the transportation committee of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association.

Mann is the executive director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade.

Both want to bring improved infrastructure to the region and create opportunity for business and government to work together to make that happen.

When it comes to transportation, the state does not get its fair share of federal dollars, McConnell said.

If it were up to him, McConnell said he would increase investment in infrastructure and award the state and the Los Angeles region for self-improvement and progress in reaching targets in goods movement and congestion relief through improved public transit.

"We would get credit for bond programs we put up and the additional sales tax that we assess ourselves for the MTA, those types of things," McConnell said.

Mann also supports performance-based infrastructure funding. He recently attended a meeting with staff from Gov. Schwarzenegger's office on just that topic.

The state cannot keep relying on bonds and taxes for public improvement projects and private sector needs, Mann said.

An example of a public-private partnership in his area is the United Express service from Palmdale Airport that includes funding from the city, and Los Angeles World Airports to guarantee United a profit for 18 months.

Mann has been involved in very preliminary discussions about an Antelope Valley campus of the state university system. But such an undertaking needs private dollars.

"It is a good way to go as private enterprise reaps the benefits from the graduates," Mann said.

Ivy Academia President Tatiana Berkovich is also concerned with education.

If in a position with more influence, Berkovich said she would like to get different government agencies on the same page working together to provide the best education for all children attending public school.

An opportunity to obtain $40 million in state funding to renovate two vacant Los Angeles Unified School District campuses slipped through the cracks, denying her charter school new quarters, Berkovich said.

"While those of us in the charter school community have made every effort to work hand in hand with government agencies, adapting to whatever works best for them, we continue to run up against roadblocks in conducting the business of providing quality education to our kids," Berkovich said.

Michael Cortez, a member of the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council, would improve communication between business and government as it is key to business growth.

Understanding the business view on an issue enables the council to be more sensitive on matters that may affect small businesses in the long run, Cortez said.

Chambers of commerce, if they haven't already done so, should find a liaison from the area neighborhood council to report on information they might not otherwise know about, Cortez said.

"Additionally the chamber president/ community relations person, or business liaison should attend neighborhood council meetings, if only once, to introduce themselves, to build a relationship with board members," Cortez added.

When it comes to chambers and their networking opportunities what William Fikhman, owner of two iSold It franchises, wants changed is to broaden those connections outside the Valley into other parts of Los Angeles and into Orange County.

That would create more opportunities for businesses to meet each other, Fikhman said.

"There are probably great businesses out there that can provide service for my businesses that I don't know about yet," Fikhman said.