Fri, Jul

Pacific Coast Regional helps small businesses thrive

Mark Robertson, President/CEO of Pacific Coast Regional. Photo by Jason Lewis


For 40 years, PCR has assisted small business owners with loan programs, classes, and consulting.


Looking to start a small business? Contact Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation. http://pcrsbdc.org/

By Jason Lewis

Many small business owners struggle on a daily basis to keep their lights on, and many people who have ideas to start a business in their community cannot obtain the funds or other resources to get the business started.  

Since 1977, Pacific Coast Regional (PCR) Small Business Development Corporation has assisted small business owners in obtaining loans, and they have low-cost classes and free one-on-one consulting to help people start and maintain their business.

Mom-and-pop shops are vital to the growth of a community.  These businesses allow business owners and employees to work in the areas that they live, and gives local residents the opportunity to spend money within their own community.  

“It creates a legacy of wealth in the community,” said Mark Robertson, President/CEO of PCR.  “That is the foundation on which a community is built.  If you have a community of tenants, than ultimately there is no financial stability there in that community.  So it’s vital that the wealth be created by ownership, and then that wealth be passed on to subsequent generations.”


PCR was created because many minority-owned businesses struggled to obtain loans from banks.  Without small businesses, the amount of jobs that were created in certain communities were limited.  Banks deny many companies access to capital because the owners are not in business long enough, do not have enough revenue, or do not have the proper credit score.

PCR is an alternative lender.  They help small businesses gain access to funding to sustain and grow the business through their various loan programs.  People who are looking to start a business, or grow an existing business can take advantage of PCR’s resources.

One of PCR’s clients was a barber who was looking to open her own shop.  Twenty years ago, she contacted PCR.

“She had a lot of experience working at another barbershop,” Robertson said.  “She came to us and said, ‘I have my own book of business, I’m ready to have my own shop, can you help me?’  And we were happy to.  In fact, the loan that we gave her to open up the shop, she paid it off early.”

That barbershop is still in business in the Crenshaw district today, and PCR is still supporting her.  Many businesses were impacted by the construction by Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project.  PCR has given out roughly 200 grants through Metro’s Business Interruption Fund.   


“Here she is, more than 20 years later, being impacted by Metro,” Robertson said.  “And we’re more than happy to help her again.”

PCR offers business classes at their offices near downtown Los Angeles and in Compton.  Classes are by topic, they tend to be three or six hours long, and the cost for each class is typically $50-$60.  There are classes on creating a business plan, business financing, business management, analyzing financial statements, finding new customers, social media marketing, employee development, etc.

The one-on-one consulting, where business owners can meet with experts in budgeting, business planning, and financing, is free.

Job creation is of great importance to PCR.

“It’s our expectation and hope that jobs will be created when starting the business,” Robertson said.  “Or from giving them a loan to expand the business.  One of the questions that we ask is how many jobs will this create.”  

For every $35,000 loaned, at least one job is expected to be created.  

“We’ve been able to come in way under that,” Robertson said.  “In many instances, we’ll have at least one job created for every $15,000, or every $12,000 that we loan.  It’s not a requirement that jobs are created.  But it is our hope that jobs will be the results of our work.  And in general it is.”

For more information about PCR, contact them at (213) 739-2999, or visit their website at www.pcrcorp.org




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