Helping Small Businesses Survive COVID-19
WEST VALLEY BSC HELPS FULL SERVICES FIRM OBTAIN 3 LOANS & STAY OPEN
The West Valley BusinessSource Center helped long-term client Mariana Ospital (pictured above) 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. Working closely with Marlen Lara, the onsite manager of the West Valley BSC, Mariana received several loans that helped her expand her business to two locations in the San Fernando Valley. The BSC also assisted Mariana in developing a social media presence and marketing plan to help keep her business sustainable during the non-tax season. Mariana was preparing to open a third location in early 2020 when COVID-19 arrived. With the pandemic, Mariana’s business came to a halt as her customers lost their jobs, stopped paying insurance, canceled their weddings and their travel plans. With her business’ sales reduced to a minimum, Mariana struggled to pay rent and maintain the salaries of employees at her second location. She had no choice but to lay off the employees and shut the doors of her most recent business. She frantically contacted the West Valley BSC, and the BSC staff helped Mariana generate a new business strategy and guided her through the application process for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and the City of Los Angeles Small Business Emergency Microloan Program. The objective of the new business strategy was to retain her employees during the initial mandated safer at home orders and keep her business operational while the economy struggled to find a new normal. Mariana received all three loans between May and August of 2020. The infusion of capital provided by the City of LA and the SBA loans allowed her to keep herself employed, keep two employees on payroll and keep the business operational. Mariana said she is extremely grateful to the City of LA and the West Valley BSC for the resources and support she has received to keep her business afloat during this unforeseen economic shutdown.