Here at the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, we’re serious about supporting small businesses, that’s precisely why we’ve granted $2,500 each in matching funds to six burgeoning small Downtown businesses. Dreams are being built in Downtown Long Beach and the DLBA is working with entrepreneurs to grow passions into realities in California’s most ideal business destination.

These entrepreneurs completed DLBA’s six-week Entrepreneur and Small Business Education Series in a partnership with California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Throughout the series, attendees to the education series were provided with research, including industry and market information as well as offered feedback about their business plan and financial projections. The series culminated in a “Pitch Fest,” where the awardees were selected by a panel of judges Southern California’s business and investor communities.

“This educational series was an excellent source of information as I continue to the next level of my business,” said Jamaica Yancy of Black Long Beach. “Startup costs can be challenging for any entrepreneur – this grant will give my business a boost to the next level.”

In keeping with the melting pot that small business owners in America represent, the awardees include five minority-owned business and four female-owned businesses. The entrepreneurs themselves represent a wide net of businesses ranging from Stay Anchored’s retail lifestyle brand to Stone Law & Consulting’s law firm specializing in employment law.

“Small business forms the core of our economy and it’s squarely in line with DLBAs strategic plan to invest in their success,” Jim Kuhne, DLBA Economic Development Committee Chair said. “We’re very proud to present our inaugural class of DLBA’s Small Business and Job Creation grant recipients, which truly represents the ingenuity and diversity of our Downtown.”

Recipients of the inaugural DLBA Small Business and Job Creation Grant are:

Carolyn Christian Hines of Hines Hospitality Group. Hines Hospitality Group provides industry expertise with passion, purpose, and persistence in the educational and professional development arenas, providing world-class staffing, and advocacy for the hospitality industry. Their vision is to become the worldwide premiere organization offering 7-star hospitality training

Tomas Irigoyan of Stay Anchored. Stay Anchored is a retail lifestyle brand bringing together the vibrancy that embodies the culture of Long beach, California.  Their shirts, stickers, and hats are sold in shops around Downtown Long Beach like Fingerprints, MADE by Millworks, and Latin Soul.


Ashleigh Stone, Esq. of Stone Law & Consulting.  Stone Law & Consulting empowers small business owners to implement best business and employment practices in order to reduce the risk of costly legal problems down the road.  Specializing in areas of business and employment law, Ashleigh Stone is passionate about protecting small businesses and employers through preventive law.

Jamaica Yancy of Black Long Beach. Black Long Beach believes that the world is a happier place when people come together.  They are a community development organization aimed at empowering the black community through social cohesion. Their vision is a world where the economic, social, physical and psychological health needs of our people are met.


Michelle Molina of Connecting Evidence.  (No relation to Michelle Molina of Millworks) Connecting Evidence provides program evaluation and data interpretation for nonprofits. They help organizations learn from your work and maximize impact. The help nonprofits refine their goals, collect data to understand if they are achieving those goals, and think strategically about how to best move forward.

Jorge Mujica of C.A.C.T.U.S Long Beach. Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Society (C.A.C.t.T.U.S.) is a platform for artists to work within the city of Long Beach using 326 Elm Avenue as a space to exhibit, learn, and mature one’s understanding of art. In 2017 C.A.C.t.T.U.S. will initiate a curatorial program using its gallery space to collaborate with its contributing members consisting of international, national, regional, and local members.