The Valley Economic Alliance is swooping in to assist displaced employees of the Valley Economic Development Center, which filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday.
It remains unclear how the filing would impact the small business lender’s staff because VEDC officers have not commented. But several people affiliated with the VEDC have said privately that many of the center’s approximately 20 employees have been laid off or have left. Kenn Phillips, the Valley Economic Alliance’s president and chief executive, said he’s been told that a three- or four-person team will remain to handle VEDC’s personnel transitions and operational reorganization.
The VEDC has been an active lender to area small businesses and minority owned companies. It is unclear how the reorganization will affect VEDC’s existing loans and business partners.
Several have said the bankruptcy court filing and layoffs led to the closure, at least temporarily, of VEDC’s Entrepreneur Center and Business Source office in Pacoima, Business Source Office in Reseda and Women’s Business Center and Corporate Office in Sherman Oaks.
To help, the Valley Economic Alliance, with whom VEDC shares a building in Sherman Oaks, is bringing together California’s Economic Development Department, the city of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development Rapid Response team and the three local City Council offices to host an educational class for the employees on how to file for unemployment insurance.
“I think they’re going to reopen. I think it’s going to look a little bit different,” said Phillips. “I think the main thing (VEDC) is going to be looking for right now is cash flow. Assets and liabilities pretty much have an even spread. It appears that cash flow could very well be the deeper issue.”
Those affiliated with VEDC have not responded, at least not on the record, to the Business Journal’s inquiries.