COVID pandemic: Local agency helps personal trainer's Hollywood-based small business stay afloat

"I've been able to not only survive but thrive during this season," said Osamoje Imoohi, founder of Grow With O.
HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Before gyms reopened in June, Osamoje Imoohi had real fears that COVID-19 would wipe out his personal training business in Hollywood and the steady income he had come to rely on.

"I was pretty sad," said the founder of Grow With O. "I thought everything I had worked so hard for, you know, I was going to lose."

Imoohi worried he wouldn't be able to pay rent or provide for his family.

"Because all gyms were closed and the stay-at-home order happened didn't allow me to physically see my clients," he said.

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Getting health care has not been easy during the pandemic. So this company is offering at-home visits for a variety of services, spanning from checkups to COVID-19 tests.

But these days Imoohi is hopeful. He business is back on track and he credits the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center for helping him turn it around.

"I've been able to not only survive but thrive during this season," he said.

Pat Nye of the SBDC said: "Grow With O approached us, obviously feeling the impact of COVID and the shutdowns. Our director helped him secure some financing as well as sort of look at his business model and be able to help pivot to more of an online presence, so that he could continue serving the client base he had worked so hard to establish."

Imoohi said the transition to establishing a digital presence "was one of the major ones that I didn't know I needed to make."

The SBDC helped Imoohi secure an economic injury disaster loan -- often called an EIDL -- and with their guidance, Imoohi launched an online workout program called "homegrown." Subscribers purchase access to a dietary guide and five weeks worth of workouts. Imoohi's lients now include high level executives, celebrity entertainers and everyday folks looking to improve their fitness, people from around the globe.
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