L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

two happy young children dressed in Rosewood the Label brand eco friendly cotton pajamas
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) helped Ashlee Espinoza and her business partner Lola prepare their eco-friendly children's loungewear line, Rosewood the Label, to become investor ready. The pair enrolled in LACI's Founders Business Accelerator Program, which provides six months of business curriculum and executive coaching with a focus on creating a sustainable circular economy brand. Through the program, Rosewood the Label also widened their Los Angeles business support network.

Ashlee and Lola met more

Owner of Sylmar-based Swiss Cleaners, Isabel Vides (left) chats with a customer at her shop counter
After five years in the dry cleaning industry, Isabel Vides decided to become an entrepreneur and work as a sole proprietor. In 2021, she incorporated her business, Swiss Cleaners, based in Sylmar.

During the pandemic, Isabel's sales dropped and she closed her business temporarily to

Kristal Huizar, a Targeted Local Hire Program participant, found a pathway into City of Los Angeles civil service via full-time paid, on-the-job training for entry-level positions
Kristal Huizar joined EWDD as a Targeted Local Hire participant and recently passed her one-year probation period. She is now a full-time civil service employee with the City. We're lucky to have her on board!

Kristal juggled two part-time jobs, one at a

Benjamin Westley (left), owner of Boketto Cold Brews, an artisan tea and coffee catering service for corporate clients based in Downtown L.A.
In 2017, Benjamin Westley was working in Downtown Los Angeles as a doorman when the building's owner mentioned that he'd like to attract more upscale office users. Westley saw an opportunity to fill a void. Thus, Boketto Cold Brews was established.

What started as one customer and an office lobby barista service has

FREE Legal Help for LA-Area Business Owners; the LA Regional Small Business Legal Aid Program provides representation or assistance to support a range of issues including contracts, business structure and formation, employee issues, COVID relief, eviction protection, intellectual property rights and protections, and much more
LA Regional Small Business Legal Aid Program

The LA Regional Small Business Legal Aid Program provides free legal assistance or representation to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The program is administered by the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) in partnership with the County of Los Angeles Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Public Counsel and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

The program provides

March 14, 2023- EWDD Assistant Chief Grants Administrator Rosa Penaloza (fifth from right) with the February 2023 Cohort graduates of ICON CDC's seven-week Entrepreneur Training Program
The North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library was packed Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in celebration of the 52 graduates that completed the Entrepreneur Training Program (ETP), a seven-week course that teaches business fundamentals.

Led by ICON CDC, operator of the North and South Valley BusinessSource Centers, the hybrid in-person and virtual program guides aspiring entrepreneurs through topics including how

EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull (center) poses with Harbor WorkSource Center staff at the Harbor Regional Connect-LA Job Fair in early March 2023
More than 400 job seekers attended the South/West/Harbor Connect-LA Job Fair in early March 2023 at the Harbor Occupational Center.

Upwards of 70 employers attended in search of qualified candidates to fill more than 2,500 jobs. The

Solomon Cannon with his National Dislocated Worker Group (NDWG) restoration crew at the Monrovia Canyon Park in October 2022
Solomon Cannon joined the National Dislocated Worker Group (NDWG) restoration crew at the Monrovia Canyon Park in October 2022. He was eager to gain work experience, but he was struggling with homelessness, a significant barrier as he struggled to find a job.

Solomon knew he needed a way to earn an income so he could stop

EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull (front row, center) participated in a panel discussion on how the City of LA can assist the recovery of local businesses at a Black In The Valley business mixer on February 28, 2023
While a winter storm fell outside, a crowd filled the Mardi Gras Tuesday restaurant in Sherman Oaks last Thursday for a Black Business Mixer hosted by Los Angeles City Council Districts 4, 2, and 12.

CD4 organized the event in honor of Black History Month in partnership with

Olga Gomez, owner of Daisy’s Beauty Salon in South Los Angeles
The Pico-Union/Westlake Business Source Center (BSC) recently helped Olga Gomez, owner of Daisy’s Beauty Salon, successfully obtain a City of Los Angeles Microenterprise Recovery Grant to help sustain her business.

Olga holds both a cosmetology and barber license. After graduating from