Business Interruption Fund spotlight: Kato’s Sewing Machine Company

Metro’s Business Interruption Fund was started to assist “mom and pop” businesses that may be directly impacted by construction of Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX line, the Regional Connector Transit Project along the Little Tokyo area area and the 2nd and Broadway segment and Phase I of the Purple Line Extension.

More than $1 million in grants have been awarded since the first grants were awarded to qualifying merchants in April 2015. The fund aims to provide financial assistance to support affected businesses’ ability to remain open throughout construction and realize the benefits of the new rail lines once completed. 

Kato’s Sewing Machine Company


Alvin Kato of Kato’s Sewing Machine Company. Photo by Gary Leonard/Metro.

Kato’s Sewing Machine Company, located on 1st Street just east of Alameda, has been a fixture within the Little Tokyo community for more than half a century. Kato’s specializes in the repair and sales of new and vintage sewing machine, and serves as the best and most knowledgeable business of its kind in Los Angeles County. The company’s clientele include Cirque du Soleil, Ice Capades and various high-end fashion designers.

Alvin Kato has worked for Kato’s Sewing Machine Company since the mid-1980s. His father, Frank Kato, founded the business in 1961. For 50 years, the Kato family has continued the tradition of excellent customer service as the “go-to shop for any sewing machine needs.”

To learn more about Metro’s Business Improvement Fund or how to apply for a grant, visit the Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corp (PCR).