L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Hyung Chul Kim, owner and main pâtissier of Brown Bag Cookies in the heart of Los Angeles
Hyung Chul Kim is the owner and the main pâtissier of Brown Bag Cookies, a newly established dessert shop in the heart of Los Angeles.

Graduating from a culinary school of arts and moving to LA about ten years ago, Hyung Chul always dreamt of having his own restaurant, but he did not feel quite ready to turn his dream into a reality. During COVID-19, he finally decided to take a bold leap when he lost his job as a restaurant manager. He actively looked for financial help to start his business, but he had difficulty getting a traditional business loan without proper paperwork.

Hyung Chul decided to consult SBA directly, where he was introduced to the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) Finance Corporation, an SBA lender, and the Pico-Union/Westlake BusinessSource Center (BSC), also overseen by PACE.

When Mr. Kim contacted the Pico-Union/Westlake BSC, he had a specific goal to open his new business. Pico-Union/Westlake BSC counselors provided Hyung Chul with step-by-step assistance in creating a comprehensive business plan and building his financial records to increase his financial capability. The counselors also helped him obtain the necessary business permits and licenses required to operate in the City of Los Angeles.

After spending about three months in the preparation stage, Mr. Kim successfully applied for an SBA microloan with PACE Finance Corporation and was approved.

Finally, after spending about three months working together with the Pico Union/Westlake BSC Loan Coach in preparation for the loan documents, Hyung Chul successfully received his SBA microloan for $50,000. This funding allowed him to secure a lease for his business location, complete his tenant improvements and purchase baking equipment with his own capital. Most importantly, Hyung Chul was finally able to accomplish his lifelong dream of having his own shop. Running his own business allowed him to stop working nights and spend more quality time with his family on weekends, who continue to support him through this journey.

Brown Bag Cookies is located in LA City Council District 10 at 3450 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Brown Bag Cookies showcase (left to right) individually wrapped pies, sweetbreads and cookies; interior of the Brown Bag Cookies shop; gift box filled with mini-sweetbreads, sable cookies and caneles

EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers offer resources to microenterprises, small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the City of Los Angeles. These efforts work to revitalize the local economy by helping business owners launch viable businesses, grow revenue streams, and stabilize and create jobs. Visit EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers and learn how EWDD's Business Services can help businesses of all sizes.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of July 18, 2021. Read this issue and more.

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