University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

New business center aims to boost South LA entrepreneurs

USC will partner in a series informing local business owners about developments at the USC Village

Led by Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price Jr., more than 100 small business owners gathered at the District 9’s field office for the ribbon cutting of the new CD-9 Business Center.

“It’s a pleasure to be here,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, “particularly given the tremendous needs that are here, and I want to commend Curren Price for his leadership.”

Located on the corner of Central and 43rd Street in the historic jazz corridor, the center aims to expand the district’s business enterprise through a network of service providers referred to as Distinguished Partners, including USC.

The university’s Civic Engagement office will provide resources through the USC Family of Businesses, which oversees such programs as Bridges to Businesses, a procurement-assistance program, and the USC Popular Community Bank Small Business Leadership Forum.

USC Family of Businesses and CD-9 will launch its partnership with “It Takes a Village,” a series informing business partners about development opportunities tied to the USC Village, the $650 million housing and retail space — the largest development project in the history of South Los Angeles.

The series will provide construction progress and upcoming contract opportunities, Price said. It also will feature outreach training and network events designed to inform, empower and prepare local businesses for those opportunities.

“USC is proud to partner with the 9th District,” said Thomas Sayles, senior vice president for university relations, “and we will do everything we can to make it successful.”

Dorothy Randle, former associate director in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office of Economic & Business Development, was named executive director of the CD-9 Business Center.


Photo caption: Dorothy Randle, Thomas S. Sayles, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Ballard (Congressional District 40), Vivian Bowers-Cowan – Owner of Bowers and Sons Cleaners – (a local CD9 business), David Ysais Manager of Communications at LA Trade Tech College (LATTC), Councilman Price, Victor Parker, District Director of the US SBA – LA District Office, and Mark Wilson – Executive Director of Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD). (USC News)