Hamed Bagheri, owner of Easy Towing, Inc.
The West Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) worked closely with client Hamed Bagheri for approximately a year to help him shift away from working two jobs as an Uber driver and at an auto body shop, to establishing his own business, Easy Towing, Inc.

In 2019, Mr. Bagheri began working closely with West Valley BSC consultant Elya Narinyan, who provided him with extensive business planning guidance, including assistance obtaining required licenses and permits, along with legal assistance and accounting advice.

Karina Ortiz, owner of North SF Valley personal training business Strong with Karina
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped entrepreneur Karina Ortiz launch her personal training business “Strong with Karina,” and tailor her services based on COVID-19 safety guidelines.

With several years of experience as a certified personal trainer, Karina felt motivated to start a training service that educates clients about the latest fitness and nutritional trends and provides effective one-on-one workout sessions, when permitted by state, county and city COVID-19 guidelines.

grade school age children participating in a STEM learning activity
The LA Regional COVID-19 Fund provided a grant to non-profit The People of Change, which allowed the organization to continue to provide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs to youth in South Los Angeles.

Led by Dimitrio Jones, The People of Change spearheads a variety of community initiatives that pair professionals and community leaders with youth, along with other programs that assist the homeless and build new community businesses.

LA Channel 35 news magazine LA Currents interviews EWDD GM Carolyn Hull on December 1, 2020
EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull recently appeared on LA Currents, a news magazine show on the City’s cable station LA Cityview 35. During her interview, Ms. Hull provided an overview of the critical services EWDD’s WorkSource, YouthSource and BusinessSource Centers continue to provide Angelenos during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was stunned at how many different arenas that you are able to help, from small businesses to large businesses, to people with employment questions, to even opportunities for workforce training. It is really impressive,” said LA Currents host Maria Hall-Brown.

Latashia DeVeaux, owner of PR firm DeVeauxted Enterprises
The LA Regional COVID-19 Fund provided funding to help Latashia DeVeaux cover expenses and restructure her PR firm DeVeauxted Enterprises to assist clients during the pandemic.

Latashia has worked in public relations for 22 years, gaining expertise in talent relations, brand strategy, and strategic communications. She's had many noteworthy accomplishments in her field, from brokering deals with the United States Armed Forces Entertainment to being President of the Black Public Relations Society in Los Angeles.

(left to right) Mario Alamilla, owner of Ang’eliz Diamond, and Phuong Le, BSC loan counselor
The Central West Region BusinessSource Center has provided ongoing business assistance to Mario Alamilla, the owner of Ang’eliz Diamond, which manufactures abrasive diamond grinding wheels for the tungsten carbide and ceramic industries.

At the beginning of 2020, Mario developed the “Segmented Diamond Grinding Wheel,” a promising new product that he anticipated would generate revenue for his business and make an industry impact. By May 2020, Mario realized that his small business needed assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

LA:RISE participant Wilfredo
Wilfredo credits his experience working at LA:RISE social enterprise partner Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) with helping him move forward and break the cycle of incarceration.

When he returned home after serving a decade in prison, Wilfredo said he was intimidated by the job search process and unsure of how to re-enter the workforce. Determined to find full-time employment and move to safer housing, Wilfredo enrolled in the LA:RISE program at CEO.

Homeboy Industries, Inc
The LA:RISE program provided re-entry worker Rhaquan on-the-job training and wraparound support services that ultimately led him to secure a full-time job in information technology.

Before arriving at LA:RISE social enterprise partner Homeboy Industries, Rhaquan faced the challenges of re-entering society following incarceration. After hearing about a friend’s positive experience working in Homeboy’s Tattoo Removal department, he was excited about the program's possibilities and enrolled.

LA:RISE participant Jacky
Before enrolling in the LA:RISE program, Jacky was experiencing homelessness. He was eager to find stability and a supportive work environment.

At the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which is an LA:RISE partner, Jacky received the support and training he needed to pursue a culinary career.

Jacky's previous experience in the restaurant industry drew him to the LA LGBT Center’s culinary job training program. During his training, Jacky learned essential culinary techniques and the skills he needs to be successful.

LA:RISE graduate Eman
LA:RISE graduate Eman gained job training that led to a full-time job and inspired her to pursue a career in cybersecurity.

With limited work experience and education, Eman had been struggling to find full-time employment and was at-risk of experiencing homelessness. After enrolling in community college, Eman joined the LA:RISE program at YWCA’s Digital Learning Academy to gain on-the-job experience.

Brandon “Stix” Salaam-Bailey, founder of the THINKWATTS Foundation
On November 6, 2020, the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC), alongside the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (MOEO), launched a new monthly virtual small business meet-up for Watts area small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The event is in partnership with the Watts Rising Collaborative, an initiative designed to create opportunities for Watts entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Watts Rising Collaborative also advocates and protects Watts small businesses from displacement.

World Class Sports Talent Agency
The LA Regional COVID-19 Grant helped Don Franken, owner of World Class Sports talent agency, keep his business afloat after the pandemic caused the entertainment industry to go dark.

Franken founded the sports talent and celebrity agency in 1982, which over the years has booked 6,000 athletes, coaches, announcers, officials, and referees in sports commercials, print ads, endorsements, and speaking engagements. World Class Sports works with "scale" athletes and sports celebrities.