Mayor Garcetti, Cedillo Launch ‘Great Streets Great Business’ on Figueroa

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from Arroyo Seco Journal:

by Eddie Rivera

Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo launched the "Great Streets Great Business" program yesterday, a new small business assistance and attraction program for Great Streets corridors. The corridor includes all businesses on North Figueroa from Avenue 50 to Avenue 60.

Councilmember Cedillo specifically selected the North Figueroa Business Corridor for the Great Streets Program, saying, “It’s an area where there are many long time ‘legacy’ small businesses that we want to retain and help thrive.”

Over 150 business owners and organization participated in the event, including the Valley Economic Development Center, service provider for the Great Streets Great Business program; Councilmember Curren Price, Chair of the Economic Development Committee; Titina and Teresa Folliero, small business owners of Folliero’s; Andrew Barrera, Highland Park Chamber of Commerce; Misty Iwatsu, North Figueroa Association Business Improvement District; Yolanda Nogueira and Rocio Rivas, Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council; and many others.

“This is an effort to provide our business community with the access to capital necessary to keep pace with the changes that face all businesses in this new age of technology,” said Andrew Barrera, of the Valley Economic Development Center, and the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce.

“We welcome the resources and the recognition that Highland Park is one of the original communities of Los Angeles,” Barrera added.

The program includes a $4 million small business loan fund and a $400,000 investment in door-to-door outreach to existing businesses, technical assistance, access to capital, and the recruitment of new businesses into vacant storefronts on Great Streets corridors. The Great Business program highlights the City’s commitment to lifting up neighborhood small businesses as part of Great Streets. By attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones, Great Streets and VEDC will enhance the Initiative’s first 15 corridors, including the Highland Park Business District, to create inclusive economic opportunities and foster a sense of community in each neighborhood.

Ruben Herrera, small business owner of Devon Glass & Mirror in Highland Park, spoke about receiving funds from Great Business and is anticipating hiring more than 12 new employees through the new program.

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