Growing Our Economy: El Clasificado

Growing Our Economy: El Clasificado

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Instead of buying a new convertible car in 1988 one woman was encouraged to start a business. The words of wisdom came from her husband. After much sacrifice the investment paid off and in June, 2013 the couple were recognized as finalists for EOY, Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year-LA. As they mingled at the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom they were amongst some of the best and brightest in So-Cal business. I'm talking about companies like The Coffee Bean to companies dealing in billion dollar accounts.

I asked Martha de la Torre and Joe Badame about the biz for our segment, Growing Our Economy. This week we continue to talk to top entrepreneurs about what's working today and tomorrow. De la Torre and Badame are a husband and wife team, CPA's, who found a niche market. The growing Latino community. They built El Clasificado into the largest free Spanish publication in the country. It is an advertising business in print, mobile, event and on-line catering to Hispanic clientele. Log on to the internet to find their site or see their print ad books delivered by truck. Business number two, Quincinera.com. De La Torre says even in a down economy families will celebrate a young girl's big day. Who amongst us doesn't order on-line. Why not for your Quincinera needs.

They managed to not only survive a down economy but are part of L.A.'s growing economy. Badame says their hiring was up ten percent last year and they continued to hire even last month. One requirement of EOY is a company must show growth. EOY's Brian Ring calls our economy "cautiously optimistic" and companies like this one are part of our city's success story.

Before you think this was all easy, know building a business came at a price. The couple didn't take salaries for ten years and sold their cars and home to live with relatives for a time. April Spencer of EOY will tell you that is the "entrepreneur" way "willing to take risks others won't."  El Clasificado started with just ten-thousand copies in 1988 and now has a distribution of 510,000 in 300 cities.

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