L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Alberto Paxtor (left) a South Los Angeles area sidewalk vendor
Alberto Paxtor is a sidewalk vendor in the South Los Angeles area who sells clothing, used items, and facemasks. Alberto suffered heavy financial losses to his business and livelihood due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this difficult time, the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC) built a relationship with Alberto to support his business and provide access to capital. In 2020, staff assisted Alberto in successfully applying for the COVID-19 Sidewalk Vending Grant. The $5,000 grant allowed him to sustain his business.

In November 2021, after learning about the Comeback Checks L.A. Program through the Harbor-Watts BSC, Alberto began working with their staff to apply for this much needed assistance. BSC staff scheduled after-hour meetings to accommodate Alberto's work schedule.

Alberto actively communicated with the Harbor-Watts BSC throughout the application process. He attended a Comeback Checks Program webinar, informed staff when he needed technical assistance, and was receptive to follow-ups. BSC staff assisted Alberto in submitting the required documentation for the Comeback Checks Program.

On December 15, 2021, Alberto informed staff that he had received funding! He said he is extremely thankful for the help the Harbor-Watts BSC provided him and his family.

Alberto has the heart of an entrepreneur and is determined to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alberto plans to use the grant to recoup the losses in sales caused by COVID-19 by utilizing the funds toward pandemic-related costs. Alberto wants to continue to grow his business past the economic hardships created by the pandemic and envisions eventually transitioning to a commercial brick and mortar store.

City of Los Angeles Comeback Checks Program

More than 18,000 small businesses have applied for the City of Los Angeles $25M Comeback Checks Program, which will provide $5,000 grants to assist 5,000 recipients in their recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Three application rounds are scheduled for the program, with Round 3 scheduled to begin in January 2022.

Alberto's story above is an example of how the City of Los Angeles is helping local entrepreneurs recover from an economically devastating pandemic currently spanning 22 months.

The EWDD team is working diligently to process applications. Finalists are notified ten business days after the close of each round. Eligible businesses that submitted applications and were not selected for funding in early rounds do not need to reapply, as they will be automatically included in future rounds of program funding. In response to an overwhelming number of inquiries, please note that the following businesses are ineligible for the Comeback Checks grant program:
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Landlords/Schedule E Passive Income
  • Parent Company Ownership
  • Ride-share companies
  • Businesses or companies held in trust
  • Businesses that do not have a physical location
For more information about the program and eligibility requirements, visit http://ComebackChecksLA.com.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of December 27, 2021. Read this issue and more.

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