Setbacks like a global pandemic can deter entrepreneurs from realizing their dreams, but with partnerships and networks, owning a business can be a reality. No matter what stage of business growth, The Center is committed to helping diverse and women-owned businesses by providing education, technical assistance, and access to diverse funding sources to help them succeed. 

Rosalind Pennington is the owner of The New Townhouse, a legendary restaurant and bar with a rich history featuring live entertainment and Southern cuisine. After a 30-year career as an engineer in corporate America, Rosalind purchased the restaurant in 2007, fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a business owner. Realizing all of the challenges that come with owning a business, she knew that she needed support. 

One of Rosalind’s connections recommended that she connect with The Center to gain tools and a better understanding of business ownership. Just before the pandemic, she began working with an advisor and taking all of the classes offered by The Center to gain a foundation for running a business. Rosalind also received guidance with applying for loans, obtaining insurance, certifications, and making sure that her financials were up-to-date.

When COVID-19 health orders forced businesses to shut their doors, Rosalind turned to The Center again. When the first application round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan opened, she was ready. Rosalind obtained a PPP loan that provided timely financial assistance and allowed her to hire her staff back. She also applied for grants that provided her with the capital to pivot to meal preparation services, and The Center helped her land a catering contract with the County of Los Angeles. At the height of the pandemic, Rosalind and her team provided free emergency hot meals for the most vulnerable communities in South Los Angeles.

Today, Rosalind has several catering contracts with Council District 8 and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to provide meals for seniors and the unhoused. She is currently pursuing contracts with the County of Los Angeles for meal preparation services for the next three years. 

“Having my business financials in order before disaster hit allowed me to stay in business through the pandemic and grow my business. This is the first time my business has been profitable. When I speak at business associations, I promote organizations like The Center to encourage other small business owners to join their network,” said Rosalind.

Our clients are not defined by their setbacks. We help small businesses to be prepared for opportunities and resilient during hardships. Relationships, like with The Center, can make all the difference. Learn more about our services at www.thecenterbylendistry.org.

March 14, 2023
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