OLASTEO participants group shot 2018
The LA Regional COVID-19 Fund awarded non-profit OLASTEO a grant that allowed them to cover COVID-19 related expenses.

OLASTEO serves the Watts community in South Los Angeles and creates empowering experiences for students can that serve as a catalyst for social change. Aaron Friedman, President and co-founder of OLASTEO, has spent the last five years curating interactive workshops, immersive trips, and powerful speakers for their youth scholars.

Beatriz Zaragosa, owner of Four Corners Insurance, Inc
The East Los Angeles BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Beatriz Zaragosa, owner of Four Corners Insurance, Inc., obtain an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) that allowed the small business to stay open during COVID-19 and save the jobs of ten employees.

In addition, the East Los Angeles BSC, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and a team of volunteer architects, helped the insurance agency implement COVID-19 safety measures in preparation for when the business was allowed to reopen.

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.

Donna Zweig and Paul Eventoff, owners of Wizrd of Art art school in Los Feliz
The LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund helped husband-and wife-team Paul Eventoff and Donna Zweig, owners of the Wizard of Art independent art school, cover rent during the pandemic and cover COVID-19 related expenses. The school is a community fixture and has been in the same location for 24 years.

The school provides personalized drawing and painting lessons to students of all ages and abilities, and has served students from age four to 104.

Southeast Los Angeles YouthSource participating in the Get Out and Vote Ride event
On October 31, 2020, members of the Watts Youth Council at the Southeast Los Angeles YouthSource Center participated in the Get Out and Vote Ride, an event to encourage community members to cast their ballots in the November elections.

The event reflected the YouthSource System’s efforts to encourage youth to understand the power of their voices and provided an opportunity for the youth to engage in the democratic process.

elementary age child on a computer attending a virtual class
Thirty-five Hire LA’s Youth participants recently received training to serve as Academic Support Interns, which will allow them to assist younger students struggling with distance learning during COVID-19.

EWDD partner Para Los Niños (PLN), which oversees the Central LA, Westlake and Northeast LA YouthSource Centers, recognized that many students were facing challenges adapting to remote learning and could benefit from additional assistance. This presented an opportunity for a partnership between the

Eddie, Northeast YouthSource Center participant
The Northeast YouthSource Center (YSC) helped participant Eddie discover his career path and take steps toward achieving his goal of becoming an electrician.

Eddie sought out the Northeast YSC, run by EWDD contractor Para Los Niños, because he was interested in returning to school and finding a job. He was also motivated because he wanted to become a role model for his younger siblings.

Isabel Baleon-Sandoval owner of Ellie’s Online Deals
The South Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped entrepreneur Isabel Baleon-Sandoval launch Ellie’s Online Deals, a sidewalk vending business that specializes in selling cleaning products during COVID-19.

When news of COVID-19 caused people to "panic buy," Isabel realized that saving money was a priority during moments of crisis.

Little Llama Peruvian Tacos restaurant in DTLA
The Hollywood BusinessSource Center helped Chef Jean Valcarcel, Angela Wagner, and Chris Spinder, owners of Little Llama Peruvian Tacos, open their first brick and mortar restaurant.

The owners were first referred to the Hollywood BusinessSource for assistance in obtaining financing to open a storefront restaurant. At the time, Little Llama Peruvian Tacos had been operating as a one day a week pop-up every Sunday at Smorgasburg LA, a weekly food event in the City’s Arts District neighborhood.

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EWDD provided funding to support the recent launch of Reboot LA, an innovative, intensive web development and tech entrepreneurship program that will give 28 re-entry individuals an opportunity to launch their own tech companies.

City of Los Angeles residents that have a criminal record with a state, city or federal corrections or probation departments are eligible to apply. All services will be provided at no cost to the Reboot LA participants.

Rafael Gonzalez with his Reseda based food truck, Birria del Valle
The West Valley BusinessSource Center provided extensive business services to Rafael Gonzalez, helping him launch his “Birria del Valle” lunch truck, which has continued to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Valley BSC business coach Marlen Lara provided Rafael guidance on how to obtain the permits required in order to operate a lunch truck business, along with information about LA County Department of Public Health insurance requirements.

(left to right) Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, owners of Southern Girl Desserts
The South Los Angeles BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, co-owners of Southern Girl Desserts, shift from a storefront destination to take-out, which has alleviated some of the financial hardships their business has experienced due to COVID-19.

Established in 2007 and based in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the dessert shop closed when shopping malls shuttered due to the Safer At Home requirements.