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Los Angeles District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

DreamHammer is a New Force Multiplier

Force Multiplier: (Department of Defense definition) A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment; or (U.S. Small Business Administration definition) DreamHammer.

Located in Santa Monica, California, DreamHammer was cofounded in 2000 by CEO Nelson Paez - originally as a high-tech security services company.  The SBA 8(a) software development firm used its 8(a) status along with a SBA $50K line-of-credit and $100K SBA loan through Wells Fargo to get started during the early stages of product development.  DreamHammer also used the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program and SBA’s Capital Programs to pivot from the private sector to the public sector where they also reinvested their youthful profits into building a product that was badly needed by the U.S. military.

What DreamHammer ultimately created was a universal... Read More

Fort: Workshop & Furniture Reseller and Gallery - Los Angeles Success Story

Fort, a workshop/furniture reseller and gallery, is a journey as much as a destination when looking to acquire or trade furniture.  Jacqueline Sharp, owner and founder of Fort has crafted an eco-friendly business model that gives a new life and new home to striking and hand-crafted furniture pieces. 

Sharp, who studied art/design at the University of Iowa, started Fort in February 2011 with the idea to lighten landfills while preserving some great pieces.  “Many of our pieces are made from scrap and reclaimed materials in addition to well-curated vintage pieces,” said Sharp. 

Sharp had the core of her business plan in place in 2010, unfortunately her business partner backed out causing her serious concerns.  She researched and walked into the local Women’s Business Center.  “Honestly, I would not have found the courage or strength to start Fort without the help of the WBC,” said Sharp.  “I didn’t know where to start on a business plan or anything about projections.”... Read More

Glenoaks Imaging Professionals - Glendale's "New and Improved" Medical Imaging Facility

Who says that getting a MRI scan can’t be relaxing, almost spa like?  When walking into Glenoaks Imaging Professionals medical facility in Glendale, California one gets the feeling he or she will be treated well.  The smell of fragrant flowers and a hint of freshly brewed coffee fills the air. Patients are offered tea or coffee and sit in stylish chairs within the naturally-lit waiting room with floor-to-ceiling windows. 

All three co-owners, a husband and wife team and their long-time friend, met in college and had the dream of starting a business in the community they grew up in.  After college Ashley and Andre Shakhbandaryan and Rubik Khosrovyan worked for established companies and gained industry expertise.  But in 2010, they struck out on their own and assembled a team of trusted family and friends to staff their office. “Andre and I dreamed of having our own place ever since we met,” said Ashley. “Our biggest priority is to help our community with quality healthcare... Read More

Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center - 2012 Family-Owned Business of the Year & Success Story

Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center chain, founded, owned and operated by the Zaruka Family began in 1986.  Located in Camarillo,,California, Wedgewood was founded when John and Linda Zaruka took out two SBA-backed loans from National Bank of California to buy a failing golf course restaurant, which they converted to banquet service exclusively.  From this humble beginning, the Zaruka’s now offer 17 wedding locations throughout California. 

Starting with one employee, the family-owned business now employs 100 full-time and 300 part-time employees - in the last three years alone, two hundred employees have been added (a 100 percent increase).  Revenues from 2011 will exceed $20 million and just as important they have maintained an “A” guest rating. 

Both the Zaruka children, Bill and Stacy, worked alongside their parents at an early age and then went on to get degrees at excellent hospitality colleges, eventually returning to the family business as partial owners. ... Read More

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