external picture of the Happier Camper travel-trailer rental business
The South Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped entrepreneur Derek May, founder and owner of the Happier Camper travel-trailer rental business, qualify and receive a $1,113,200 business term loan and $100,000 line of credit to expand and hire up to 20 new employees.

In 2010, Derek started a business that provides opportunities for customers to rent new and restored vintage, ultra-light trailers with an emphasis on camper-friendly design, utility, and flexibility. As demand grew, Derek launched Happier Camper in 2014 where he began designing and manufacturing his own trailers.

LA:RISE participant Denise, the first female driver for CRCD Enterprises
LA:RISE participant Denise was facing financial hardship while dealing with the loss of her father and brother, when a friend told her about EWDD partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), which offers educational services and job services, including a partnership with the LA:RISE, Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise, program.

Denise completed her application and interviewed for a position as a driver.

“My goal was to become the first female driver for CRCD Enterprises,” she said. “I’ve taken a lot of steps to get to this point and I’m determined to see my dream become a reality.”

Clayton's Public House main window
The West Valley BusinessSource Center (WVBSC) provided technical assistance, and over the course of several years, helped entrepreneur Elizabeth Peterson-Gower obtain a $650,000 loan to open Clayton’s Public House, a Victorian style pub in the Spring Arcade Building, a Los Angeles Landmark Building in Downtown Los Angeles’ (DTLA) Historic Core.

The establishment retained two jobs and created 45 jobs.

Elizabeth and her husband Tony Gower previously owned Royal Clayton’s, an English pub in DTLA’s Arts District that shuttered in 2011. In May 2015, Elizabeth first visited the WVBSC, run by EWDD partner VEDC, to reopen Clayton’s in a new location.

A dozen youth from five of the City’s YouthSource Centers gathered at the USC Community Room on Saturday December 1, 2018 for a two-hour interactive entrepreneurship seminar on how to build their dream business
A dozen youth from the Central Los Angeles, East-South Los Angeles, South-Crenshaw, and North Valley YouthSource Centers attended an Entrepreneurship Seminar on Saturday December 1, 2018.

Held at the University of Southern California Community Room, the seminar was a two-hour crash course on how to build your dream business.

The interactive seminar was led by entrepreneur Aaron Bilgrad, founder of The Blank Press, a business strategy, marketing, and creative video advertising company.

Jason Lautenschleger and Barry McLaughlin, owners of Barry & Jason Games and Entertainment, pose with one of their products - Game Night in a Can
The Hollywood BusinessSource Center (BSC), run by EWDD partner MCS, recently helped start-up entrepreneurs Jason Lautenschleger and Barry McLaughlin obtain a $125,000 working capital loan for their board game company, “Barry & Jason Games and Entertainment.”

The loan allowed them to develop a board game that became a “Game of the Year” finalist and hire two new employees.

EWDD referred Jason to the Hollywood BSC in May 2018. Jason and Barry were initially seeking a $60,000 working capital loan for inventory backup and developing their second board game, however after meeting with Jason and analyzing his financials, a Hollywood BSC business coach determined Jason qualified for more capital than he was originally seeking.

A Box Pack & Ship employee packages an antique chair for shipping
In 2016, EWDD awarded a contract to Concerned Capital, a mergers and acquisition firm based in LA’s downtown Arts District that specializes in helping employee/ownership buy-outs in small businesses, as part of a pilot program to use Layoff Aversion funding to transition company ownership from retiring owners to long term employees.

As part of their contract, Concerned Capital worked directly with three retiring Los Angeles small businesses owners, including a print shop and a bakery, helping them transition their businesses by selling to one or several of their employees, thus saving jobs and ensuring the business remained open.

(left) EWDD Assistant Chief Grants Administrator Jackie Rodriguez and EWDD Senior Project Coordinator Vanessa Willis assist female small business owners at LA’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
More than 200 female business owners visited EWDD’s Business Advancement Team (BAT) booth at LA Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Celebration on November 19, 2018.

The event was held by Mayor Garcetti's Office of Economic Development.

Approximately 600 women attended the event, which was designed to help women-owned businesses realize their full potential in Los Angeles.

Brian (center, standing) and Christopher (left, seated) pictured with their Creek Wildfire restoration crew funded through the National Dislocated Worker Grant
The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department received a National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG) in 2018 to employ crews of workers to help with the cleanup of areas affected by the December 2017 wildfires in Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar and Sun Valley.

The grant provides temporary employment to workers and residents impacted by the wildfires, and also gives an opportunity for long-term unemployed individuals, including ex-offenders, to get back on their feet.

The Hollywood WorkSource Center, run by EWDD contractor MCS, assembled six active crews with four employer partners and is currently working at sites affected by the 2017 Creek Fire.

EWDD General Manager Jan Perry (center) with Jordan Pynes (right), President of Thomas Safran & Associates, at “Delicious at the Dunbar” grand opening celebration on November 8, 2018
An EWDD $500,000 Economic Development Loan Paved Way for the Dunbar Village Project

With the support of EWDD and $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds as part of the Dunbar Village revitalization project, the new restaurant Delicious at the Dunbar celebrated its grand opening November 8, 2018. The restaurant brings new energy to a location once considered the heart of the Central Avenue jazz scene and cultural center of Los Angeles’ African American community.

In the 1930s, the nightclub at the art deco Dunbar Hotel hosted jazz legends Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and others, before falling into a period of disrepair.

the Asapahu family in the kitchen of their family restaurant, Ayara Thai
The South Los Angeles BusinessSource Center (BSC) assisted entrepreneur Anna, Andy and Vanda Asapahu, owners of the Ayara Thai restaurant near LAX, helping them review financials to expand the establishment and hire up to 20 new employees.

Anna and Andy Asapahu opened Ayara Thai in 2004, specializing in dishes that were deeply rooted in their family lineage.

After a career in Public Health, their daughter Vanda returned to Los Angeles in 2010 to assist her parents with their then struggling business.

Nestor Reyes taping his Hire LA’s Youth segment
In partnership with LA CityView 35, three EWDD YouthSource Center participants shared video testimonials about how the Hire LA’s Youth program had a positive impact on their lives.

The videos were recorded as part of Open Studio, a new program at Channel 35 that produces shorter length videos (approximately one minute or less) specifically for social media content. Below are the stories of Steven Mason, Destiny Nguyen, and Nestor Reyes connected to each of their Hire LA’s Youth segments taped for YouTube.


the 2018 Entrepreneurship & Financial Literacy Conference for Veterans at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
As Veteran’s Day approaches, EWDD strongly supported the “Empowering Disadvantaged Communities for Disabilities, Veterans and Service Disabled Veterans Through Entrepreneurship & Financial Literacy Conference,” an event recently held at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall.

EWDD General Manager Jan Perry delivered welcoming remarks, assuring veterans, disabled veterans and spouses that they are EWDD’s top priority and that they get a spot at the front of the line when they visit the City’s 16 WorkSource Centers.

In the past year, EWDD’s WorkSource Centers have served approximately 1,404 veterans and 2,950 disabled individuals.