L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Marielle Castorena, owner of the Speed Rolling Performance auto shop in San Fernando Valley
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) assisted Marielle Castorena, owner of the Speed Rolling Performance auto shop, with obtaining total loan forgiveness for a PPP loan that helped keep her business stay afloat during COVID-19.

Marielle established her business in January 2019. After gaining more than ten years of experience closing contracts with

Wo'se Kofi (far right) owner of Baba's Vegan Cafe in South L.A.
From his beginnings of rapping at local poetry and evening events, Wo'se Kofi realized that after shows, there were no healthy options at venues or nearby in South LA.

As someone who was raised vegan, Wo'se thought it would be great to provide this option for audiences. He had prior experience in restaurants, so it felt like a natural calling to

Ambo, LA:RISE Participant, working at the Skid Row ReFresh Spot in DTLA
Ambonisye, or "Ambo" as he likes to be called, came into the West Adams WorkSource Center (WSC) after receiving an email about the LA:RISE program. Ambo was looking for work and ready to start his career.

After learning about the program requirements, Ambo was asked what he wanted for his future career

LA:RISE and Chrysalis logos
Ten years into his career as a barber, Anthony found himself in an on-the-job altercation that led him to serve five years in prison. While incarcerated, Anthony reflected on his career and his future.

Upon his release from prison, Anthony's brother recommended that he check out LA:RISE social enterprise partner Chrysalis for assistance in restarting his career. At the time, Anthony was

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

Brandon "Stix" Salaam-Bailey, founder of The ThinkWatts Foundation
The Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently partnered with Brandon "Stix" Salaam-Bailey, founder of The ThinkWatts Foundation, and MasterCard for their six-week Business Builder Program.

Local, minority-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs were invited to the January 24th kick-off event at

Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen exterior
EWDD's BusinessSource Centers (BSCs) helped numerous small businesses apply for the Super Bowl LVI Business Connect program, which works to connect experienced, event-ready Los Angeles County businesses with opportunities to compete for contracts related to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

The Business Connect program is also committed to supporting minority, woman, LGBTQ+ and veteran-owned

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti (center, front row) launches the Student2Student (S2S) program on January 24, 2022
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday, January 24, 2022, the official launch of the Student2Student (S2S) program, which pays and trains young Angelenos who tutor their siblings or school-aged relatives living in their household.

The program is an innovative partnership between the Mayor's Office, EWDD's YouthSource Center providers and high school students/continuation school students attending schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). S2S was developed to mitigate the loss of in-person learning opportunities and

illustration of a sidewalk vendor selling electronics
After receiving a referral from another sidewalk vendor, Mario Olvera connected with the Central West BusinessSource Center (BSC) for business assistance and guidance on how to navigate the requirements of the City of Los Angeles Sidewalk and Park Vendor Permit Program.

BSC staff provided Olvera a comprehensive orientation on sidewalk vending for merchandise, license and permits, annual reporting requirements, and assistance on

Operators of Pacific Resource Recovery, Jennifer Lahoda (left) and Veeken Tashjian (right), on the floor of their TSD facility
The East Los Angeles BusinessSource Center helped Pacific Resource Recovery (PRR), a Boyle Heights-based solvent waste management company, with community outreach efforts. These efforts will allow the business to expand its capacity, retain its existing workforce and hire two new employees.

Founded in 1976 by Bob Berg, PRR is now

go to the page top