EWDD administered the City’s $25M Comeback Checks Program, which offered $5,000 grants to eligible microenterprises and small businesses in need of economic support due to business interruptions or business closures suffered as a result of the pandemic. The grants were intended to give mom and pop shops a boost to stay open during Safer at Home orders and bounce back as the City continues its economic recovery from COVID-19.
Cristina Salcedo, owner of Casa de Decor, received a $5,000 Comeback Checks grant that helped her cover COVID-19 related expenses during the Safer at Home ordinances. EWDD partner ICON CDC, operator of the North and South Valley BusinessSource Centers, offered her guidance on her application. For six years, Cristina’s business has offered interior design and home staging services. With a staff of six, Cristina’s team spends hours creating inspirational tableaus that help homebuyers envision living in a new home. It’s a talent that helps homes sell faster, especially during the Coronavirus outbreak, according to a June 2021 survey by the National Association of Realtors. The survey said that 83 percent of buyers' agents said having photographs for their listings was more important since the beginning of the pandemic. Seventy-three percent said having virtual tours available for their listings was more important in the wake of COVID-19.
When she thinks about the future, in five years Cristina said, “I see my business operating from a spacious 10,000 square-foot warehouse, with three big moving trucks as well as plenty of inventory and sufficient personnel to cover at least three stagings per day. I also see the business incorporating home staging courses.”
She said that with assistance from the City of LA, mom-and-pop shops can continue to recover and thrive from COVID-19.
“City resources are very important for small businesses because they help us to grow as business owners not only in a monetary way but also by educating us as well on many topics. At the same time, by using these resources, we can help others by offering them jobs; therefore, improving the economy,”
EWDD's BusinessSource Centers are available to help small businesses. To learn more, visit: bit.ly/LABusinessSource.
To learn more about Casa de Decor, visit casadedecorla.com.