CounterBalance L.A.

Los Angeles, California
Fitness Studio

Story Overview

Fitness and Performance Studio for Brazilian Martial Arts

Jessica Carla de Lima-Moran and her husband, Sean, had spent 18 years building their business, teaching the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira to students in Northeast Los Angeles. This art form is a fusion of dance, martial arts, acrobatics, functional fitness and traditional music that incorporates cultural history as inspiration for movement.

After leasing space within a community gym, the Moran’s decided to take on the building’s lease. The neighborhood had been developing rapidly; this decision seemed like a smart business move. However, two weeks after signing the lease, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all California businesses.

Despite the building being shuttered and classes postponed/canceled, the Northeast L.A. community came to the Moran’s with supportive ideas and a commitment to attend classes whenever and wherever possible. Many children and families participate in Capoeira classes and missed the experience during social isolation.

With help from a PPP loan, the Moran’s and their team at CounterBalance L.A. began Zoom classes within six weeks of closing, then moved ahead with limited-participant outdoor classes to bring their community back together again.

The Moran’s credit the simple application process, hands-on service from CRF and the convenience of using a technology-driven platform for securing their PPP loan. The entire process took just 2-3 weeks and provided CounterBalance L.A. with much-needed capital for re-opening and welcoming families back to the gym.

We have a community vibe and we engage with the community frequently, hosting parties and events as well as classes. When the pandemic closed us down, many of our families were insecure economically and we lost business. But the PPP loan – and how easy it was to access – helped us get through the most difficult time and re-think how we would deliver services after the pandemic.

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