LAEDC continues to bring valuable resources to community businesses to survive the pandemic
LOS ANGELES – November 17, 2021 – Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) announced today that it reached a significant milestone, having attracted or retained more than 250,000 jobs for LA area residents through the direct technical assistance provided by its award-winning Business Assistance Program (BAP).
“LAEDC continues to be an invaluable resource for our business community. By working with our small business community, LAEDC has been able to assist with keeping Angelenos working and thriving,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “The LAEDC business assistance program staff continued its work during this pandemic – calling and emailing businesses to keep them working. They aren’t just guiding them to financial resources but also working with them to become sustainable and sharing best practices. Without LAEDC’s partnership, the effects of the pandemic on our small business community could have been much worse.”
“LAEDC has long been a critical partner in the effort to build a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient local economy — and its work throughout the pandemic has been essential,” said City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “LAEDC helped to keep our small businesses alive and will continue to support them in their recovery to ensure our economic strength for years to come.”
“LAEDC is proud of the work we have done during the pandemic and over the past 25 years of our assistance programs to sustain more than a quarter of a million jobs here in Los Angeles County. And yet, despite that unprecedented success, Los Angeles County continues to experience an unemployment rate higher than both the state and national averages, so we must continue to support our small businesses to restore more of the 700,000 jobs lost here to COVID-19 related business disruptions. Throughout the pandemic, LAEDC has provided a wide range of assistance to help our small businesses and micro-enterprises survive, and strengthen and reposition themselves to more fully recover and enhance their long-term resilience in the face of any future disruptions to the economy,” said Bill Allen, President and CEO of LAEDC. “A disproportional number of businesses still struggling to recover here are owned by women and people of color who have historically faced greater challenges accessing capital and entry into procurement opportunities with larger firms and governments.”
One of those businesses is BriteWorks, a woman-owned Latinx business in Covina, providing commercial cleaning and janitorial services to businesses for 25 years. Over the past couple of years, the LAEDC’s BAP program has provided BriteWorks with assistance on incentives, workforce, PPE (personal protection equipment) and COVID-19 related programs. During the past year, a prime contractor challenged BriteWorks’s status as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and LAEDC participated in LA Metro’s Transportation Advisory Council hearings to voice support for the authenticity and professionalism of BriteWorks to continue with the contract for cleaning and disinfecting MTA buses. The challenge was successfully resolved in BriteWork’s favor. BriteWorks continues to expand and now has over 200 employees and is a respected employer in the local community.
“LAEDC recommended a variety of programs and introductions to service providers that could assist us with business challenges and introduced us to business incentive programs to help sustain and grow our business. With the fast-changing economy, it’s reassuring to know that there are people at the LAEDC who really care about helping to keep our local businesses strong, sustaining jobs in our economy,” said Anita Ron, President, BriteWorks, Inc.
In the most challenging year for small businesses in the 25-year history of LAEDC’s Business Assistance Program, the team tackled the unprecedented small business crisis with additional staff, extraordinary resources, and record levels of one-on-one consulting with at-risk businesses. The effectiveness of LAEDC’s program is remarkable because its integrated approach allows it to bring its workforce development team, economic research and industry and labor market analysts, and World Trade Center LA team together with a highly experienced staff providing direct technical assistance to small businesses in Los Angeles County. LAEDC’s unique ability to integrate these areas of expertise into a multi-faceted offering to small businesses – increasingly focused on helping entrepreneurs of color, women business owners, micro-enterprises, and nonprofits – leads to uniquely effective outcomes for the businesses it serves. The LAEDC’s Community Connectory COVID-19 resources webpage (www.laedc.org/coronavirus) has served more than 100,000 visitors to ensure small and micro-enterprises could access vital resources to survive the economic crisis. Since the onset of the pandemic, LAEDC has also proactively contacted over 19,000 small businesses and micro-enterprises in low- and moderate-income communities to offer no-cost technical assistance and pivotal resources for economic resiliency.
As a result of this unwavering commitment, LAEDC has reached the milestone of 250,000 direct jobs that businesses have retained or added due to LAEDC’s engagement. These job totals are reported by the businesses themselves, reflecting the sum of LAEDC’s Business Assistance Program since it was introduced in 1996. LAEDC achieved this milestone with strong partnerships and support from the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), and LAEDC members and local philanthropic foundations who stepped up this year to expand the number of businesses served.
About the LAEDC
LAEDC drives action in support of a reimagined Los Angeles regional economy that is growing, equitable, sustainable, and resilient, and provides a healthy and high standard of living for all. A public-benefit nonprofit celebrating its 40th year of working collaboratively to improve the lives of people through economic inclusion, LAEDC is a trusted leader working on behalf of the Los Angeles County region. Visit www.laedc.org or call (213) 622-4300.