(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.

LA:RISE participant Enrique
Before enrolling in LA:RISE, Enrique faced long-term unemployment and unstable housing.

Through the program, Enrique began working at LA:RISE partner Homeboy Industries, where the staff said that from day-one, he was focused on his future. The LA:RISE program also gave Enrique access to supportive services that connected him to life skills classes and therapy.

LA:RISE participant Elana outside the Liberation Café at the Los Angeles LGBT Center
The LA:RISE program helped participant Elana develop job skills, which led to full-time work at the Liberation Café at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. When Elana arrived at the LA LGBT Center, she immediately felt welcome and comfortable, as the staff and other participants also identified as LGBT.

Elana enrolled in the LA:RISE program, which through its partnership with the LA LGBT Center offers a culinary social enterprise, that provides job training with the goal that participants will obtain full-time employment and housing stability.

YouthSource participant Justin goes to college
During COVID-19, young Angelenos ages 14 to 24 can still turn to EWDD’s YouthSource Centers for resources that include job skills training, work readiness programs, and mentoring and counseling.

This week, EWDD Updates shares the story of a youth participant that received assistance during the pandemic from EWDD partner Para Los Niños (PLN), which operates the Central Los Angeles/Westlake and Northeast Los Angeles YouthSource Centers.

BusinessSource client Ligia Baires at her valley restaurant La Sabrosa
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped long-time client Ligia Baires expand her restaurant “La Sabrosa” to a second location, and assisted her in setting up her business to reflect COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

For more than four years, Ligia has worked closely with North Valley business coach Maria Luviano to reduce overhead costs at her first “La Sabrosa” restaurant in Sylmar. The cost savings ultimately allowed Ligia to use her own funds to open “La Sabrosa #2” in Van Nuys, and create one full-time cook position.

Mr. Young Yoo, owner of Korean-Hawaiian restaurant Ohana BBQ
The Mid-City BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped Mr. Young Yoo, owner of Korean-Hawaiian restaurant Ohana BBQ, acquire $224,000 through various disaster loan programs which allowed him to keep six of his employees on payroll.

Mr. Yoo emigrated from Korea to the United States in 1980. In 2005, he purchased the Korean-Hawaiian restaurant Ohana BBQ, based in Studio City. During the peak of the pandemic in March and April 2020, Ohana BBQ’s revenue dropped dramatically.

Isaac Thotz, the co-owner of mixed music venue The Sardine in San Pedro
The Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Mr. Isaac Thotz, the co-owner of mixed music venue The Sardine in San Pedro, obtain COVID-19 relief loans that allowed his nascent business to keep eight employees and shift to an online business model.

Mr. Thotz contacted the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center in March 2020 looking for assistance with COVID-19 relief options.

Mariana Ospital, owner of Mariana’s Services
The West Valley BusinessSource Center helped long-term client Mariana Ospital successfully apply for three loans to help her business “Mariana’s Services” stay open during COVID-19.

Mariana’s Services is a One-Stop-Shop that provides services for taxes, insurance, civil marriages, and travel. Mariana first began working with the BusinessSource Centers in 2017, and has received extensive business guidance since then.

LA sidewalk vendor Nicolas Martinez
The Central/West Region BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Mr. M. successfully obtain a sidewalk vending permit for his fresh fruit business.

A decade after starting his business, Mr. M. attended a City of Los Angeles Sidewalk and Park Vendor Permit Program orientation at the Central/West BSC, where a business counselor assisted him through the permit application process from start to finish.

So Cal Success for All Virtual Job Fair social media post
EWDD partnered with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to co-host the So Cal Success for All Virtual Job Fair, held Thursday September 3, 2020. EWDD’s 16 WorkSource Centers attended the event, which marked EWDD’s inaugural virtual job fair, the first of many to come in light of new health and safety measures due to COVID-19.

More than 150 people attended each Zoom session to hear from employers about how to apply for upcoming jobs, according to the Chamber.

Nattawat and Suey Kiattisak, owners of Flavors of Thai Restaurant
The East Los Angeles BusinessSource Center (ELA BSC) helped Nattawat and Suey Kiattisak, owners of Flavors of Thai, secure federal loans to retain 17 employees. The ELA BSC also helped them successfully apply for the Los Angeles Al Fresco program, which has allowed them to stay open during COVID-19.

The husband and wife team founded Flavors of Thai in 2014, realizing a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant offering traditional Thai cuisine, however the restaurant suffered severe economic impacts due to the pandemic.

LA:RISE program participant Torcel at his first full-time job
The Vernon-Central/Los Angeles Technical Trade College WorkSource Center (WSC) provided recent parolee Armando job training to join the construction trades and now he is four months away from acquiring journeyman status in his union.

The WorkSource Center, run by EWDD partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), also provided Armando financial literacy training to help him improve his financial record by establishing a budget, build his credit score, and manage earnings from his living wage job.