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To coincide with National Pride Month, we highlight several businesses in Downtown that feature entrepreneurs and small business owners who welcome and celebrate diversity. The DLBA is committed to spotlighting job creators, helping to tell their stories in a variety of ways including through our newsletters, marketing campaigns and social media pages.  

We encourage you to also share the personal stories and visit the storefronts.  If there’s a Downtown business you think is awesome, please let us know.  Reach out via email to DLBA Communications Manager, Michael Berman at MichaelB@DLBA.org.

Danielle Portillo, Bark! Bark! Daycare & Grooming
Barkbarkdaycare.com
325 Atlantic Ave.

What inspired you to start your business? Vivian and I saw there was a high demand for dog daycare in the DTLB area.

What is something you would like the community to know about your business? We have been in business for over 12 years!

What are your plans and goals for the future of your business? We plan to expand and have more locations.

What is the best way the community can support your business? YELP reviews, Instagram, and word of mouth are our biggest ways the community can support us.

If you have employees, how many people do you employ? We have 20 employees currently and growing.

Susan Burgess, Stars Salon
425 E. Ocean Blvd, Unit 100

What inspired you to start your business? I worked for someone else in Newport Beach for 10 years but I lived in Long Beach. I had always wanted to live and work in the same city.  Being a Gay woman, Long Beach was more accepting and an easier place for me to thrive. I decided to take a leap of faith and open my own shop in the city I loved so much, and I’m still here 23 years later.

What are your plans and goals for the future of your business? My future plans are to continue to serve the Downtown/East Village community. I’ve enjoyed watching the City expand around me and I’m excited to see what’s next.

What is the best way the community can support your business? The best way to support a small business is to spend money in the establishment. I believe in loyalty, but if you’re looking for a new stylist or barber please come out and see us.

If you have employees, how many people do you employ? My shop is a small intimate setting. I am the stylist and I have a Barber who works with me. Together we offer hair care needs for both men and women.

Stars Salon barber standing in front of business

Andre Angles & Ty Theara, Thai District
Thaidistrictrestaurant.com
149 Linden Ave, Unit E

What inspired you to start your business? My uncle, who is a veteran restaurateur in LA, inspired me, but also my partner Ty who dreamed of having his own restaurant. Also, we wanted to do better in life using our skills, and pleasing people is very rewarding as well.

What is something you would like the community to know about your business? We support many local foundations like Dignity Health, LB Symphony, LB Museum of Art, etc…

What are your plans and goals for the future of your business? We just added a new patio and opened a new cloud kitchen a year ago, so for now we’re just enjoying the ride as everything reopens fully.

What is the best way the community can support your business? The best way to support us or any restaurant out there is to go out on weekdays when it’s slower. Reservations are a must during the reopening period. Ordering takeout through our websites is normally the most cost-effective way for businesses, as well as avoiding peak hours like 6pm to 8pm, especially on weekends.

If you have employees, how many people do you employ? We employ 25 workers.