interior of La Taverna Cubana in Valley Village
The LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund has helped Marciela Guerrero cover operating expenses until indoor dining resumes and she can reopen her restaurant La Taverna Cubana.

As a proud Latina businesswoman, Ms. Guerrero established the Valley Village-based restaurant with the hopes of one day passing the family business down to her children. However, like many others impacted by business restrictions imposed during the pandemic, the Cuban restaurant has seen a decline from their usual customers from nearby offices and studios.

Though Guerrero has seen some walk-ins dedicated to purchasing some of her authentic Cuban cuisine, customers have not been allowed to dine-in.

Ms. Guerrero started her business from scratch and all of her profits have gone back into the restaurant. She said she loves interacting with customers from a variety of backgrounds while providing top-quality food with great service. Unfortunately, as a result of her financial pressures, she had to let go of one of her cooks and take over as a kitchen cook.

After hearing about the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, Ms. Guerrero applied and received a grant which helped her cover her rent, payroll, liability insurance, and merchandise fees while she awaits the return of dine-in services. She said she hopes other women of color-owned businesses will have the same opportunity to receive similar support.

“I am 100% positive and I will not let the situation or people around me shut me down,” she said. “I am so grateful for the grant I saw it as a good sign that I had to keep on fighting and working.”

The La Taverna Cabana restaurant is located in Council District 2.

LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund

On August 31, 2020, the County and City of Los Angeles announced the creation of the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, a joint effort to provide financial assistance to micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits experiencing economic hardships due to the coronavirus.

Marciela Guerrero's story is an example of how the COVID-19 Recovery Fund assists local L.A. businesses.

Awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 were provided over six rounds, the last of which ended October 26, 2020. In the upcoming weeks, EWDD Updates will feature more stories on L.A. City businesses that received grants and how the funding is helping them stay afloat during COVID-19.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of November 9, 2020. Read this issue and more.