Flipping away from April, we arrive at the first page of May, ushering in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. VSEDC is proud to champion the incredible AAPI entrepreneurs whose businesses are integral cogs of South LA.

This month, we begin by highlighting Kook Hyun Kim, a Korean immigrant and a proud member of the South LA community. He owns Dollar Bargain Store, a 5,000-square-foot haven of affordable goods—his passion for entrepreneurship and community made real. During the pandemic, he saw a need for fresh, inexpensive produce and approached VSEDC to make his vision a reality.

VSEDC was pivotal in guiding Kook to success, approving a $35,000 loan in Q4 of 2021. This financial support, a key part of VSEDC’s access to capital initiatives, was instrumental in helping Kim expand his business and offer fresh fruits and vegetables to the community.

Kook’s dedication to his community extends beyond the walls of his store. He utilizes a community work firm that provides employment opportunities to homeless individuals and those seeking a fresh start. Such commitment to social responsibility exemplifies the essence of an entrepreneur who thrives by giving back to the community he serves.

Show your support for Dollar Bargain Store at 4636 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90037 (open 9 am to 8 pm). By shopping here, you’re accessing everyday essentials while supporting a local business entrenched in the grout of the South LA community.

Kook’s tale underscores VSEDC’s mission to empower AAPI-owned businesses in South LA. If you’re an entrepreneur with a vision for your business, VSEDC’s lending services can help you turn your aspirations into tangible successes.

Stay tuned for more inspiring AAPI Month stories as we celebrate the entrepreneurs shaping South LA’s future.