L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Mirsa Garza, a single mother of three and the owner of J&M Discount Store in the North Hollywood Swap Meet
The South Valley Business Source Center (BSC) assisted a North Hollywood Swap Meet business in keeping their doors open with the Microenterprise Grant.

South Valley BSC Program Manager Luis Luna met with Mirsa Garza, a single mother of three and the owner of J&M Discount Store in early 2022 when the North Hollywood Swap Meet was in danger of closing. Luis provided Ms. Garza with assistance in finding capital and an alternative location to continue business operations in case the swap meet closed.

Luckily, soon after, the City of Los Angeles Microenterprise Grant program launched and the South Valley BSC guided Ms. Garza in preparing a successful grant application. The grant provided eligible microenterprises assistance in their financial recovery from COVID-19.

A new operator was found to continue the North Hollywood Swap Meet and Luis helped Ms. Garza pivot to expanding her business instead.

The South Valley BSC provided Ms. Garza with extensive business technical assistance. She received guidance in updating required licenses and permits, filing fictitious business name paperwork with the Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office and updating the name on her Business License with the City’s Office of Finance. The South Valley BSC then referred Ms. Garza to the branch manager at a local Bank of America to open a business bank account.

Once the bank account was opened, the BSC taught Ms. Garza best practices for managing sales tax. She learned the importance of separating the collected sales tax on a weekly basis, if possible, from product revenue to avoid having any issues with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. She saw how much easier it is to implement this process with a business bank account.

Ms. Garza received the Microenterprise Grant right before the Christmas Holidays, which she used to cover COVID-19 related expenses and to purchase more inventory. The grant will also allow her to accelerate opening a second store and hire new employees by late January or early February.

J&M Discount Store is located in LA City Council District 2 and can be found at the North Hollywood Swap Meet on 7355 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91605 Wednesday through Monday from 10am to 7pm.

EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers offer resources to small businesses, microenterprises, and aspiring entrepreneurs in the City of Los Angeles. These efforts work to revitalize the local economy by helping business owners launch viable businesses, grow revenue streams, and stabilize and create jobs. Visit EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers and learn how EWDD's Business Services can help businesses of all sizes.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of January 9, 2023. Read this issue and more.