“Preparing for Post-Pandemic Progress” (SOUTH LOS ANGELES-CA) Charles Quarles, President of The Bedford Group of Companies, a leading Los Angeles real estate development firm, has lent his family name to the Quarles Business Opportunity Center (QBOC), a business incubator focused on assisting minority entrepreneurs in the communities of: Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, Carson, and South Los Angeles.
An Entrepreneur Educational Center, Inc. (EECI) project, QBOC will be home to EECI’s free Miracle’s Entrepreneur Programs (MEP) designed for beginning or struggling businessmen and women in need of a business plan that will, according to EECI officials “prepare them for postpandemic progress”. During the Grand Opening program Quarles, and his daughter Starlett Quarles, Bedford Group’s Marketing Director, well-known podcast host, and Gen X advocate, were presented with a plaque recognizing the family’s rich history of community service. In accepting the recognition Quarles shared his belief in the project and his relationship with EECI’s Executive Director, Barbara J. Stanton whose decades-long background in championing economic development projects and programs in Watts and surrounding communities is well known.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the honor bestowed in memory of my sisters Priscilla and Carol by naming the business incubator after the Quarles family. Barbara, who has a tremendous passion for the youth, that I’ve observed over the years, is continuing in that way,” Quarles said. “I wish her the best and believe because of her passion the Quarles Business Opportunity Center will become a great success,” he concluded. The Grand Opening was also an opportunity for students to enroll for MEP’s 2021 class. Upon completion of the sponsored supported 3-month course, graduates receive complimentary Doing-Business-As (DBA) registration for their startups, or EECI will incorporate their Nonprofit Agencies with the State of California. Other benefits include workspace, mentor expertise, access to investors, and in some cases, working capital in the form of a loan. Erected in 1971 the 3,000 sq. ft. QBOC building, located on the southeast corner of 102nd and Broadway in South Los Angeles, was once the field office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
It is distinguished as being the first of many built by Quarles’ who has established a reputation for his rock-solid business acumen and a comprehensive expertise in developing successful urban infill communities that bring services, jobs, and affordable housing to the underserved. Stanton noted the builder’s impact cannot be overstated, “His body of work and compassion for the underserved make Mr. Quarles a perfect role model for black and brown students who will utilize QBOC’s services. Mr. Quarles’ amazing entrepreneurial spirit is what EECI, and Miracle’s programs are looking to unlock in others who feel they have the potential to plant and then grow the seed of a business that will benefit them, their family, and most of all their community.”
QBOC is administered by EECI, and supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County 2nd District. Sponsors include The Thomas and Dorothy Leavy Foundation, Cathay Bank, Union Bank, City National Bank, Northern Trust, Pacific Western Bank, Citizens Business Bank, First Republic Bank, Comerica Bank, Pacific Premier Bank, American Business Bank, First Choice Bank, Bank of Hope, First Credit Bank and FHL Bank, San Francisco, Black Business Association, JGM, Popeyes, and 94.7 THE WAVE. Visit www.entrepreneureducationalcenter.org or call (323) 757- 7506 for more information.