Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, Republic Services Partner to Strengthen Community through Small Business Revitalization Grants

Republic Services Charitable Foundation announces $140,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to support local businesses in Long Beach’s Washington neighborhood

Los Angeles, CA – July 8, 2021: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) has selected five small, locally owned and operated businesses in Long Beach’s Washington Neighborhood to receive small business grants in the amount of $20,000 each through a generous contribution from the Republic Services Charitable Foundation.

Habitat LA will select two additional small businesses in the Washington Neighborhood in the coming weeks. This financial assistance, which is a part of Republic Services’ Committed to Serve intitiative, will provide locally owned businesses with much-needed funding to help them recover from COVID-19-related business setbacks over the past year.

“We are pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity assisting these small businesses. The Washington neighborhood has been hit hard by COVID-19 and these small businesses embody the best of the community. Our support is in line with our company’s core values; serve and help others overcome challenges to not only survive but to thrive,” said Susanne Passantino, Market Director, Government Affairs at Republic Services.

Republic’s Committed to Serve initiative was launched last spring to help support the company’s employees, customers and communities through the pandemic. To help communities, the Republic Services Charitable Foundation is providing charitable contributions to nonprofits to support small business revitalization projects across the country.

Habitat LA has been providing a variety of resources, including affordable homeownership, home repairs, leadership development, and financial literacy counseling to residents of the Washington Neighborhood for more than five years. Habitat LA is currently building ten new affordable homes in this community.

This neighborhood has faced challenges attracting new businesses. As a neighborhood of a revitalized and thriving downtown area, the Washington Neighborhood has not been viewed as a destination, but more of a pass-through community. This started to change as new businesses, affordable housing and transit options have increased to support this community. Supporting these businesses advances the efforts of the new businesses in the community to form a Business Improvement District to provide sustainable resources for clean streets, lighting and support for Washington Neighborhood community programs and events.

Each of these businesses have expressed their commitment to improving the quality of life in the Washington Neighborhood and identify themselves as community partners: Long Beach Rising, Crystal Clear Learning Center, La Bodega Mexicana 8, Popeye Donuts, and La Fiesta Tortilleria.

  • Crystal Clear Learning Center is a licensed preschool center offering a full steam preschool approach curriculum aimed at building positive relationships amongst children and the whole child, family and community. The school believes that each child is unique and valued for their individuality. Upon learning of the award to her center, CEO, Crystal C. Jones said, “Thank you Habitat LA and Republic Services…You all gave me new hope and inspiration to keep my dream alive and pursue the vision… Your support and belief in me means more than anything. Together we build, together we win!!! Change is happening!!!”
  • La Bodega Mexicana 8 is a local bodega serving the residents of the Washington Neighborhood. In response to the improvements he was able to make due to the financial assistance, owner Abel Goñi said, “It looks much better! I feel that our clientele has increased. I am very grateful with you all, the community sees the store differently.”
  • Long Beach Rising is a climbing gym and comprehensive training center offering free weights, aerobic equipment, group classes and yoga. “The grant is helpful in more ways than we could put on paper, but to put it simply it’s allowing us to revitalize our business after the most difficult year we could have never imagined. It is allowing us to beautify our space, bring in new equipment and advertise, all of which allow us to stay relevant and competitive when so many businesses have had to close for good.  We feel blessed and grateful for this connection and aid,” said owner Grayston Leonard.
  • Popeye Donuts: Local donut and coffee shop that provides breakfast options for local residents.
  • La Fiesta Tortilleria: Tortilla bakery that produces and sells freshly made tortillas along with essential products. This is the only tortilla market in the neighborhood.

“Habitat LA has seen the toll that COVID-19 has taken on many of our local businesses. These small businesses play an important role in the Washington Neighborhood, and their success is vital to the continued growth of this wonderful community.  Thanks to the generosity of Republic Services, we can provide a bit of relief to support these small business owners, aiding them as they come back from economic hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Erin Rank, President and CEO, Habitat LA.

For more information on Habitat LA’s work in the Washington Neighborhood, visit  https://www.habitatla.org/how-to-apply/neighborhood-revitalization/ or watch this short video on our commitment to this community: https://youtu.be/PF-s7t9BVAc

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. As the top nonprofit residential homebuilder in the greater Los Angeles area with a Charity Navigator 4-Star rating for eight consecutive years and the Platinum GuideStar status for transparency, Habitat LA has partnered with volunteers, donors and Habitat homeowners to build, renovate and repair more than 1,000 homes locally since 1990. The lives of thousands of individuals have been transformed as a result of having a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes and pay an affordable mortgage. By supporting Habitat LA through volunteerism, donations and supporting affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the stability and self-reliance they need to build a better future. To learn more, visit www.habitatla.org.

About Republic Services

Republic Services, Inc. is a leader in the U.S. environmental services industry. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides superior customer experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet® for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world. For more information, visit RepublicServices.com, or follow us at Facebook.com/RepublicServices, @RepublicService on Twitter or Republic Services on LinkedIn.

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Media Contact:
Francesca DiBrito
C: 310-738-2035