The non-profit organization continues to provide resources to small-business owners and entrepreneurs.
By Megan Reed
The Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) recently celebrated their 35th year of serving local communities with access to business ownership, creation of jobs, training, financial support and the services needed for businesses in South Los Angeles to thrive.
The “Celebration of Service” honored the organization’s late President & CEO Marva Smith Battle-Bey, who passed away a year ago, and formally introduced the newly appointed Executive Director Joseph T. Rouzan, III.
The VSEDC provides services that are vital to the success of small-business owners and entrepreneurs.
“When I launched the Los Angeles Standard Newspaper, my background was as a writer and photographer,” said Jason Lewis, publisher of the publication. “I knew how to create the product of a newspaper, but I didn’t know a lot about running a business.”
The VSEDC conducts workshops and classes in entrepreneurial training; creating a business plan; improving credit scores; marketing and advertising through social media; increasing business revenue using search engine optimization; as well as classes on other business topics.
“I would have had a difficult time creating a business plan if I didn’t take the entrepreneurial training course,” Lewis said. “For only $50, it was a great deal. And I got some great advice from the social media workshop. That really helped me build a stronger online presence.”
The VSEDC also enhances their clients’ abilities to access the capital that they need to grow their businesses. The organization holds a quarterly lending clinic, where bank representatives meet with entrepreneurs to discuss the ins and outs of obtaining a small business loan.
“Financing a business is difficult, especially for people who do not have a finance background like myself,” Lewis said. “When I attend Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation classes and events, I am able to speak with people who are experts in that field.”
VSEDC clients were on hand for the celebration, which featured a mini Taste of Los Angeles. Vista Hermosa Taqueria, Amara Coffee, Dulan’s on Crenshaw, Ayara Thai, Cathay Bank, Grandpoint, Rising Urban Group, Raster Print, Crenshaw Yoga & Dance, and Harold & Belle’s participated in the celebration.
CityNational Bank donated $50,000 to the corporation.
For more information about the VSEDC, contact them at (323) 789-4515, or visit their website at www.vsedc.org.