Isaac Thotz, the co-owner of mixed music venue The Sardine in San Pedro
The Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Mr. Isaac Thotz, the co-owner of mixed music venue The Sardine in San Pedro, obtain COVID-19 relief loans that allowed his nascent business to keep eight employees and shift to an online business model.

Mr. Thotz contacted the Harbor-Watts BusinessSource Center in March 2020 looking for assistance with COVID-19 relief options.

Helping Small Businesses survive COVID-19

The Sardine opened in December 2019 after three years of hosting donation-based shows in a warehouse on Centre Street. Mr. Thotz’s partner Todd Congellere has run a San Pedro based record label for over 30 years. Together, they opened The Sardine to showcase new and existing local artists.

Mr. Thotz was concerned about the company’s eligibility to receive relief because the business’ tax returns showed a loss due to renovations and other start-up costs. Amanda Enriquez, a BSC business consultant, helped Mr. Thotz secure a City of Los Angeles Small Business Microloan and an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) even though the company had only been in business for three months before the shutdown.

With the Harbor-Watts BSC’s assistance, The Sardine was able to keep all eight employees on payroll. In addition to the relief funds, The Sardine has been able to switch to a business mode of online sales and distribution of branded merchandise and direct to consumer sales of music records.

EWDD’s BusinessSource and WorkSource Centers offer a variety of Business Services, including several Financial Programs and Development Incentives for businesses of all sizes. Learn how EWDD can help.


This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of September 28, 2020. Read this issue and more.