Pasadena-based Innovate Marketing Group, a women-owned events management agency, has been recognized by financial services company Wells Fargo as a community champion, along with five other companies, for its service to the community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic challenges.
Wells Fargo launched the Open for Business Fund to provide grants to nonprofits and community development financial institutions that support small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
In partnership with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Inclusive Action for the City, the Open for Business Fund recognized local small businesses leaders who have not only survived during pandemic but have given so much to help others.
According to Innovate Marketing Group CEO Amanda Ma, her company, which produces live events from meetings to large-scale community events, was hit hard during the height of the pandemic when gatherings are prohibited and many are forced to stay at home.
“In March, 2020, when the pandemic hit us, our event industry was completely disrupted, especially because we do live events.”
“The whole industry literally ground to a halt including ourselves. Projects were being canceled and were being put on hold. And there was a lot of uncertainty ahead.”
Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Ma said the business was able to bounce back. Since that fateful March 2020, her business has put on over 200 events.
She said the business was able to thrive because they chose to change their mindset, look for options and be more creative to adapt to the situation.
Since its establishment in 2014, the Innovate Marketing Group has worked with a wide range of industries from financial and technology to the hospitality industry, according to Ma.
The firm’s clients include Pasadena-based EastWest Bank, as well as TikTok and Toyota.
Meanwhile, the five other small businesses recognized as community champions are the following: Organic gardening business The Plant Plug, clothing street vendor Alma “Patty” Archuleta, Emma’s Meat Market, Mi Lindo Guanajuato Restaurant and women-owned courier service PearlTrans Logistics.