Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved a $327,000 allocation from her discretionary funds to establish two innovative programs that will support small businesses in the First District:

“Los Angeles County’s small businesses in economically underserved areas need support to flourish, especially when communities are at risk of displacement. Small businesses drive our regional economy by sparking innovation and providing employment opportunities to local residents. We must provide these small businesses the necessary tools they need in order to succeed and expand in our competitive business sectors.

To that end, I am dedicating $200,000 of my Community Development Block Grant discretionary funds to provide First District small businesses microloans and other needed services through the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) program, which will be located in the City of El Monte. PACE will lay the building blocks to stimulate greater economic development in the San Gabriel Valley. PACE will create local employment opportunities, revitalize commercial and manufacturing centers, widen access to affordable credit, and enhance technical knowledge. Recognizing the strength of our cultural diversity, PACE will provide services in multiple languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.

In East Los Angeles, LA County will launch a unique pilot program for small businesses that need succession plans. $127,000 from my Community Development Block Grant discretionary funds will be allocated to launch a new program, in partnership with Project Equity, to explore transitions to different models of employee ownership, including worker-owned cooperatives, democratic Employee Stock Ownership Plans, and employee ownership trusts. Project Equity will be a part of the soon-to-open East LA Entrepreneur Center at Centro Maravilla. Once it opens its doors, the Entrepreneur Center in East LA will offer a variety of programs, including widening access to low-cost loans for street vendors to small-to-medium enterprises. By providing these services, we can keep our small businesses in our neighborhoods, preventing displacement, and ensuring that local dollars stay local.

Small businesses keep our regional economy strong, and I am committed to supporting their innovation and growth by providing them the necessary services they deserve to help them gain the skills, knowledge, and capital they need to truly thrive in LA County.”


Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, 213-359-0795 or rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov