An Open Letter to Our Community

Dear Friends of PACE,
During this time of civil unrest, I am compelled to deliver this message. 
PACE was founded over 40 years ago to battle racism and social injustice. Unfortunately, both continue to rage on today. Although I predicted that there would be demonstrations across the country around the outrage of George Floyd’s murder, I had no idea when or where they would occur. However, the ‘why’ was always certain.
Abuses of power and police brutality have been prevalent for decades. The murder of George Floyd is only the latest injustice that we have seen. This type of incident has occurred again and again in American history.  Many ask and wonder, “Why?” While sociologists may differ and disagree, I am certain that the majority would say that racism plays a big role. 
Another important factor is the reluctance of police departments to implement changes. Real changes. In the aftermath of the 1992 riots, highly credentialed individuals studied the situation and created a report with 40 pages of recommendations. How many of these recommendations were implemented? We may never know but one thing that is certain is police departments need to be diversified. A cultural change is necessary. It begins with hiring people of color to police communities of color. The more resistant police departments are, the longer it will take for change to occur and the more people of color will die as a result. The first autopsy attempting to exonerate the police officers is a glaring example of the systemic racism that needs to be weeded out. 
I am hopeful to see messages of unity coming from leaders around the country such as the statements from the  National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (an association that PACE belongs to), The Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) and the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus . We join them, along with hundreds of others, in demanding equal treatment under the law and real police reform. 
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King once said “A riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that promises of freedom and justice have not been met.” Let’s remember the message behind the peaceful protests and demonstrations: racial injustice, police brutality and inequality will no longer be tolerated. Do not let the small minority of looters detract us from this message or the important work being done to empower the disenfranchised. 

Kerry Doi
President & CEO

U.S. Bank transforms and expedites annual Market Impact Fund to help local nonprofits like PACE respond to immediate COVID-19 needs

US Bank Tower Los Angeles

The move is part of a broader shift of its community giving programs amid COVID-19 pandemic includes $50,000 Grant to PACE

U.S. Bank has expedited its annual $1 million Market Impact Fund grant program to provide funding for 30 local nonprofits that are working to respond to the most pressing needs in their communities.

From Seattle to Omaha to Charlotte, the grants are being used by nonprofits to infuse cash into small businesses in low-income neighborhoods, staff domestic abuse support services, support food banks, and more. The company is deploying these funds three months earlier than originally scheduled to ensure immediate relief.

The move is part of a broader shift in how U.S. Bank is approaching community giving this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the company donated $4 million to three national nonprofits – United Way, LISC and Operation HOPE – and announced that its remaining $25 million in grants planned for this year could be used by nonprofits for general operating expenses rather than for specific programming.

The fund includes $50,000 to the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) providing access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

“A huge thank you to U.S. Bank for supporting PACE and our newly launched small business relief fund with a $50,000 grant,” said Kerry Doi, President and CEO of PACE. “PACE Assistance in Disaster (PACE AID) is providing technical assistance and working capital loans to vulnerable and minority-owned small businesses. We are proud to partner with U.S. Bank to serve our small business community during this tumultuous time.”

In addition to philanthropic support, U.S. Bank has responded to the COVID-19 by instituting a premium pay program for front-line employees, modifying personal and small business products for customers, among other changes. A full list of all Market Impact Fund grant recipients can be found here. Additional information about its actions is available at and


About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp, with more than 70,000 employees and $543 billion in assets as of March 31, 2020, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based bank blends its relationship teams, branches and ATM network with mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when and where they prefer. U.S. Bank is committed to serving its millions of retail, business, wealth management, payment, commercial and corporate, and investment services customers across the country and around the world as a trusted financial partner, a commitment recognized by the Ethisphere Institute naming the bank one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies. Visit U.S. Bank at or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.

Media contact
Susan Beatty, U.S. Bank
[email protected],

PACE Receives $250,000 Philanthropic Investment from JPMorgan Chase to Provide Support to Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

PACE Partners with LADWP to offer Free Home Energy Improvements for Eligible Customers

LADWP Free Home Energy Improvements Banner

PACE would like to share some Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) programs that are available to assist eligible customers to lower their utility bills, make their home more comfortable as well as improve their homes’ energy efficiency. These programs include:

Home Energy Improvement Program (HEIP) – offers free energy efficient upgrades for residential customers designed to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.  To use this program, one must be an LADWP residential customer.  Customers must complete a one-page application at  For renters, the owner or manager must also sign the application allowing customers to participate.

Refrigerator Exchange Program (REP) – refrigerators that are at least 10 years old can be replaced by an Energy Star-rated refrigerator.  Eligible LADWP customers may be able to receive either a 15.5 cubic foot and am 18.1 cubic foot model refrigerators.  To find out the features of the models being offered, please visit

Consumer Rebate Program (CRP) – this program offers rebates to residential customers to encourage the installation and use of energy-efficient equipment in their homes.  Rebates are available for the installation of energy efficient central air conditioners, pool pumps, whole house fans, energy-efficient windows and cool roofs.  To apply, please complete the rebate application form at  Applications may be submitted online or by mail.

Low Income & Lifeline Programs – various programs are available for eligible customers to receive financial assistance and discounts.  Some of these programs are 1) Low Income Discount Program that offers a discount to your electric and water bill; 2) Senior Citizen/Disability Lifeline Rate which provides discounts on electric and water bills for customers who are 62 years or older or who are permanently disabled; 3) Life Support Equipment Discount for motorized wheelchairs, respirators, dialysis machines, suction machines, apnea monitors, iron lungs, electronic nerve stimulators, among others; 4) Physician Certified Allowance Discount on a customers’ electric bills for those who are able to provide a state-licensed physician proof of certain illnesses that may be life-threatening.   Applications to these programs are available at

For additional information, please call 1-800-DIAL DWP (1-800-342-5397).

Success Story: Buna Ethiopian Restaurant & Market

Business Counselor Steve Meng with Buna Ethiopian Market Owner Helena

Helena Zerfu immigrated to Los Angeles from Ethiopia in 2004. After many years of working in the restaurant industry, she opened her own restaurant Buna Ethiopian Market in 2011. She realized immediately that her customers enjoyed the dishes she prepared using her family recipes. Though she was a master in preparing these wonderful dishes, Helena also realized that she had little knowledge of how to run a business. She came to PACE Women’s Business Center (WBC) looking to increase her business skills.

Helena enrolled in the five-week intensive Entrepreneur Training Program (ETP) and learned about how to run a successful business. She completed the program,but she continued her business training. She met one-on-one with PACE WBC Director, Swann Do. In 2014, PACE helped Helena secure a $21,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) microloan to upgrade her restaurant’s kitchen equipment.

In March of 2015, Buna Ethiopian Market was recognized in an LA Weekly list of ‘99 Essential Restaurants’ in Los Angeles. This recognition has helped her restaurant stand out in her neighborhood and her sales have more than doubled. Helena’s five-year plan now includes creating a more casual family-style menu and opening additional locations in Los Angeles. She contributes much of her success to great mentors and access to resources with the help of PACE Women’s Business Center.