Press Release: Five Small L.A. County Legacy Businesses Win $5,000 Grants | Los Angeles Conservancy

Press Release: Five Small L.A. County Legacy Businesses Win $5,000 Grants

LOS ANGELES, February 8, 2023—The Los Angeles Conservancy announces round-one recipients of its first-ever Legacy Business Grant Program. Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo, the Conservancy will grant $5,000 each to 88 Gifts Shop in Chinatown, Candelas Guitars in Boyle Heights, Gardena Cinema in Gardena, Sika in Leimert Park Village, and El Aguila Bakery in El Sereno. The Legacy Business Grant Program is designed to provide financial support to longtime small businesses in need. The second round opens February 8 – March 8, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Applications are available at

“Legacy businesses throughout Los Angeles County are facing truly challenging times,” says Adrian Scott Fine, Senior Director of Advocacy. “They’re navigating high rents, rising costs, overdue repairs, fewer clientele—not to mention unexpected fallouts from the pandemic and inflation. We’re grateful to offer respite to some of these businesses through our Legacy Business Grant Program.”

Legacy businesses are longtime local institutions that have been around for over twenty years and serve as a community mainstay. They reflect a neighborhood’s core identity and traditions—creating a sense of place, culture, and belonging for its owners, customers, and residents. A major source of employment, legacy businesses in some areas are an essential neighborhood amenity. Yet many have been increasingly at risk since before the pandemic.

In November 2022, the Los Angeles Conservancy launched its first-ever grant program benefiting legacy businesses in Los Angeles County thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo. The Conservancy will award a total of ten $5,000 grants to small businesses that have operated and contributed to their community’s history and/or identity for at least 20 years. The Legacy Business Grant Program comprises two rounds of funding with five grantees per round. Grant funds can be used to strengthen business’ ability to prosper, including funding employee payroll, rent, business equipment, or building improvements.

“Wells Fargo is proud to be a part of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Legacy Business Program,” says Justine Gonzalez, Wells Fargo Vice President, Philanthropy and Community Impact. “During this time of recovery, it’s vital for us to rally as a community and support longtime legacy businesses so they can survive and thrive.” The Los Angeles Conservancy encourages small businesses throughout Los Angeles County that have been in operation for at least twenty years to learn more about and apply for a grant through the Legacy Business Grant Program at

About the Grantees

88 Gifts Shop
Established 1987
Ord Street Los Angeles, CA 90031
Annie Ma’s shop sells housewares, plants, and a variety of Lunar New Year gifts to neighborhood residents and tourists in L.A.’s Chinatown.

Candelas Guitars
Established 1947
2724 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90033
The luthiers of this legendary family-owned guitar shop are famous for their expert craftsmanship as well as their commitment to the Boyle Heights community.

El Aguila Bakery
Established 1973
5208 Huntington Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90032
An El Sereno staple, El Aguila prides itself on authentic Mexican sweet breads, cakes, tamales, and more, and enjoys a loyal, multi-generational clientele.

Gardena Cinema
Established 1976
14948 Crenshaw Boulevard, Gardena, CA 90249
The Kim family’s cinema is a place where families can enjoy a film together and has provided affordable entertainment options for more than four generations.

Established 1992
4330 Degnan Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90008
Sika has been specializing in custom jewelry, African art, clothing, and more, for thirty years and is a cultural gathering place in the heart of Leimert Park Village.

For more on the grant awardees, visit the Conservancy’s blog article about them here.

About the Los Angeles Conservancy

The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles County. What began as a volunteer group in 1978 has nearly 5,000 member households, the largest membership of any local preservation organization in the U.S.

Media Contact: Lisett B. Chavarela (