Through our collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program and LA Metro, LTSC helps provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in Little Tokyo and throughout Los Angeles County.
Counselors based at LTSC hold free one-on-one consulting sessions, networking opportunities and hands-on workshops for small businesses owners and others embarking on business ventures. While assisting Little Tokyo and Nikkei businesses is a priority, counselors also welcome clients from other communities in LA County.
Megan Teramoto, having grown up in the greater Los Angeles area, has spent much of her life in and around Little Tokyo. As a fourth-generation member of the St. Francis Xavier Japanese Catholic Center, Megan, and her family feel very connected to the Little Tokyo community. Before working for the Little Tokyo Service Center, Megan worked for the City of LA as a Field Deputy. In this role, she served as a liaison between the community and City services. Currently, Megan works to support the small businesses in Little Tokyo as a small business counselor and provides assistance with any day-to-day issues.
Mariko Lochridge is a bilingual Japanese/English speaking small business programs coordinator providing educational programming and technical assistance to Nikkei (Japanese diaspora) owned small businesses across Los Angeles County. Passionate about sustaining legacy small businesses, Mariko launched a volunteer group called the “Small Biz Hype Squad” in 2020 to promote intergenerational skills sharing for seasoned entrepreneurs. Over the past three years the program has matched over 75 community members to 20+ small businesses for online sales and digital marketing support.
Coming from a career in breaking news journalism, Mariko brings over a decade of storytelling experience to her teaching and mentoring style. Her curriculum focuses on how community cornerstones can build their legacy through digitizing their rich cultural history for dissemination across present day communication platforms.
Raised and educated in Tokyo, Japan, Mariko now resides in Little Tokyo, a 138-year-old historic neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles.
Rafu Shimpo: Love Little Tokyo: In Uncertain Times, Ways to Support J-Town
LAist/KPCC: Little Tokyo Fights To Preserve Its Soul In Face of Coronavirus
Los Angeles Times: To make ends meet, legacy restaurants are embracing social media (with some help)
Japan Hollywood Network: Support Little Tokyo リトル東京助け合い運動
Japan Hollywood Network: Small Business Support / 中小企業支援プログラム