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HELPING HAND: Aspiring business owners got a high-profile boost Thursday as designer Tory Burch and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled the Tory Burch Foundation at Burch’s store on Robertson Boulevard. The foundation will support small businesses by making loans to aspiring entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for bank credit and is being launched in partnership with Accion, the largest micro lender in the United States. Burch gave an unspecified sum of money to the nonprofit to get things started, and said she’ll fund her namesake foundation through corporate partnerships and sales of goods such as tote bags and T-shirts. “Despite the economy, and in fact because of it, now’s the time for people to step up and help,” said Burch, adding her business also has been hit by the recession. “We still need to do a tremendous amount of work.”
Villaraigosa lauded Burch for “using her celebrity for good,” but didn’t pause to do any shopping on his way out. “I’ll read about it on TMZ tomorrow if I do,” he said.