Metro launched two innovative pilot small business programs in 2015: the Business Interruption Fund (BIF) and the Crenshaw/LAX Pilot Business Solution Center (BSC). In celebration of National Small Business Week, we have released a report featuring the accomplishments these programs have achieved. The BIF and BSC are examples of thinking-outside-the-box programs to help small businesses continue to thrive in their communities as we build for the future. To view the small business report, click here or see below.
The BIF provides financial assistance to small “mom and pop” businesses directly impacted by construction along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Little Tokyo area and 2nd/Broadway segment of the Regional Connector including Section 1 and Section 2 of the Purple Line Extension. A couple of the small businesses highlighted in the report that represent the diverse small business community that Metro has supported include Mitsuru Café, located in the Little Tokyo area of the Regional Connector which is known for making traditional Japanese pastries on-site; and Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation which has a rich history of bringing dance and the arts to the Crenshaw community and beyond.
Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Pilot Business Solution Center which was established to provide business support services to small businesses along the Crenshaw/LAX corridor has further strengthened community linkages by referring impacted small business owners to business experts within the Crenshaw community. An example is Universal College of Beauty which has provided expert cosmetology licensing and salon management training to other small business owners engaged in the BSC.
Metro’s BSC has also connected small business owners to the latest technology solutions and training programs to help businesses prepare for the economic benefits of transit rail.
The benefits and positive impacts of Metro’s pilot small business programs are best summarized by Taylor Mayfield of Tax Ease Plus, a small business owner who represents the successes of both Metro’s BIF and BSC.