Updates Week of July 11, 2022

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On Monday, July 11, EWDD launched Round 2 of the City of LA’s Small Business Rental Assistance Program, which will provide grants to eligible City of LA businesses that need financial assistance to aid in their recovery from COVID-19. Grants will be up to $15,000 or six months of back rent, whichever is less. Applications are due by July 20, 2022.


The grant may be used for rent payments that are in arrears that were incurred on or after March 1, 2020 until May 1, 2022. To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit, operate and be located in a commercial storefront within Los Angeles city limits. Businesses must also provide lease agreements and proof confirming that back rent is owed. Additional details, along with a link to the application portal, will be available at https://bit.ly/lasmallbizgrant. EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers are available to help small businesses with their applications. Contact the BSC nearest you: bit.ly/LABusinessSource


The San Pedro, Harbor BSC is hosting two virtual webinars to guide small businesses through the application process. The webinars will be held 11AM-12PM Friday July 15, and 4PM-5PM Monday July 18. Register here: https://tinyurl.com/rentalassistance2022



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.

Group photo, with women in white polo shirt in center.

A realtor hired Cristina Salcedo, owns Casa de Decor, an interior design and home staging business Cristina (pictured above in white polo shirt), recently worked with her team to stage a home in Northridge. 

Empty living room with gray wood floor.

Above is the blank canvas of a living room. Home staging became increasingly important during COVID-19 and helps home sell faster, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

Woman moving coffee table in front of blue couch.

(Before) With her crew, Cristina, added pops of color and personality to a lifeless space. 

Staged living room with blue couch and patterned chairs.

(After) In total, this home-staging job took six and a half hours, from unloading furniture from the truck to finishing touches. Time frames vary depending on the size of the home and the scope of work. 

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If you have any questions, comments, or wish to have a contribution considered for inclusion in an upcoming "Updates," please feel free to contact Jamie Francisco at (213) 744-9048 or [email protected]