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.

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.