L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Candice Jacobs, owner of cosmetic dental service Smile 4 Less
The Mid-City BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped long-term client Candice Jacobs, owner of the cosmetic dental service Smile 4 Less, obtain access to capital to sustain her business and assist its economic recovery during COVID-19. These efforts allowed Smile 4 Less to retain four jobs and create one job.

In addition, a Mid-City BSC business counselor uncovered that Candice was targeted by an identity thief, a discovery that remedied the negative impacts to Candice's credit.

Candice Jacobs established Smile 4 Less in March 2019. A friend referred her to the Mid-City BSC, overseen by EWDD partner PACE, for assistance to obtain working capital to launch her business and secure office space. Afterward, PACE provided Candice with a $5,000 microloan to start her business.

Due to COVID-19, Candice had to temporarily shut down Smile 4 Less, as it mainly provided cosmetic dentistry services, which was considered a non-essential business. Therefore, Candice had to get creative in restructuring a business model to sustain her business during the pandemic. She started to offer in-home dental services, in addition to operating at her office in Los Angeles. However, Candice did not have portable dental cleaning equipment and dental chairs to practice her services efficiently. In December 2021, she returned to the Mid-City BSC for a second business loan.

Business Counselor Manager Wai-Ling Chin assisted Candice with preparing her application. Wai-Ling provided Candice with business planning guidance, including cash flow management and credit monitoring. During the credit assessment, Wai-Ling noticed that Candice's credit score remained poor even though Candice had been paying the first loan to PACE on time. After reviewing Candice's credit history, Wai-Ling identified that Candice's credit had been affected by an identity thief and helped Candice address the issue.

To purchase the portable dental equipment and increase her payroll budget, Candice applied for an SBA small business microloan. Wai-Ling helped Candice collect her loan documents, reviewed and corrected Candice's loan application and helped her submit a loan proposal at the end of 2021. The loan was immediately approved, and on the same day, Candice was awarded an SBA Microloan of $12,000 by the PACE Finance Corporation. The loan fund has enabled Candice to purchase the new work equipment, retain four staff, and hire one new employee.

Smile 4 Less is currently growing with business transformation and additional staff support. Candice said she really appreciates the efficient and helpful assistance that the Mid-City BusinessSource Center has been offering. With the funded loan and great support from Wai-Ling, Candice can grow her business and elevate it to the next level.

Smile 4 Less is located in LA City Council District 9.

EWDD’s BusinessSource and WorkSource Centers offer a variety of Business Services, including several Financial Programs and Development Incentives for businesses of all sizes. Learn how EWDD can help.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of February 7, 2022. Read this issue and more.

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