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Crenshaw Businesses Receive A Boost From Taste of Soul
By Sentinel Wire Services
Published October 17, 2014

(From L-T-R):  Gerald Duncan, Malai Hair owner, Art Leahy, Metro CEO, Danny Bakewell, Taste of Soul Founder, Jackie Dupont-Walker, Metro Board Member (Front), Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor & Metro Board Member and Ken Lombard, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall.

Photo by Brian W. Carter

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Metro launches campaign for the Crenshaw District while providing access to the largest family festival in Los Angeles.

On the eve of Taste of Soul, Metro members along with local officials, businesses and media gathered at the Expo/Crenshaw Station, south side westbound platform to discuss the impact of the Crenshaw/LAX Light-Rail Line. Metro’s new campaign, Eat, Play Shop, is all about a new and reinvigorated Crenshaw that will be for the community.

Together Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County supervisor & Metro board member, Jackie Dupont-Walker, Metro board member, Art Leahy, Metro CEO, Danny Bakewell, Sr., Taste of Soul founder, Ken Lombard, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall and Geral Duncan, Malai Hair owner spoke about how Metro benefits the community and how it will ultimately provide an economic boom to local businesses.

At the festival, Metro unveiled a new campaign called Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw where the public was encouraged to take a pledge to support local businesses. The campaign was launched at the Taste of Soul in Metro’s Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw pavilion, located at Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Metro encouraged the public to Go Metro to the Taste of Soul festival Saturday, Oct. 18, using the Metro rail and Metro bus system. The Metro Rail Expo Line Expo/Crenshaw Station is within sight and scent of the festival’s savory delights. Dupont-Walker pointed to the importance of local businesses that are being affected by the construction.

“We all know that once the Crenshaw/LAX Project is completed, the light-rail line is going to benefit our community, in a big way, but right now it is hard on the local shops and stores,” said Dupont-Walker. “It’s particularly hard on the small businesses that traditionally operate on small margins. These are the mom and pop places we can turn to for the sorts of goods and services chain stores can no longer provide. It’s often where we find great deals and personal service.”

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Metro also is establishing a $10 million business interruption fund that would provide eligible businesses up to $50,000 annually, not to exceed 60 percent of business revenue loss to address construction impacts along on the project alignment. However, details still are being worked out. Here is a link to the Metro Board report:

http://media.metro.net/board/Items/2014/10_october/20141002rbmitem57.pdf.

The 9th annual Taste of Soul festival took place on Crenshaw Boulevard between Rodeo Road and Stocker Street. It highlighted almost two miles of entertainment and delicious food. The public could also check out works by local artists all day long. The festival drew more than 300,000 people from throughout Southern California.

“Every year, this event grows in size and popularity, building new and stronger bonds within the community. The Taste of Soul encourages hundreds and thousands of SoCal residents to support small businesses that truly are the backbone of our local economy and promotes public transit ridership to improve traffic flow,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.

 “Taste of Soul provides an opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and diversity in the Crenshaw District and I am pleased that this year Metro will celebrate many of the local businesses on the Boulevard who have bravely endured the challenges associated with construction of the Crenshaw Line,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “This event kicks off our campaign to celebrate and help these businesses through our “Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw Campaign”.

Metro can travel from the Crenshaw district, all over L.A. County. From the San Fernando Valley take the Orange Line to the Red Line to the Expo Line. From Long Beach travel to downtown Los Angeles on the Blue Line and transfer to the Expo Line at Pico Station. From Pasadena or East Los Angeles ride the Gold Line to Union Station and transfer to the Red/Purple Line to 7th St/Metro Center and then hop on the Expo Line. Or take the Green Line to the Blue Line to the Expo Line to the festival.

Metro had a booth on Crenshaw Boulevard between Rodeo Place and Coliseum Street to provide information about the Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line project, which is underway and getting ready to begin excavation of the first of three underground stations along Crenshaw Boulevard. The three are on Crenshaw Boulevard at Exposition Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.

Participating restaurants at the press conference included Dulan’s on Crenshaw, Southern Girl Desserts, Post & Beam Restaurant, Crenshaw Denny’s, Delicious Southern Cuisine, Yo Halal’s Popcorn and Crenshaw Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

 

Photo by Fred Hawthorne

[email protected]

[email protected]

Categories: Crenshaw & Around

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