For small business owners like Gilberto Carrillo and Marilyn Brown construction of the Crenshaw to LAX line has not been great for their bottom line.
But recently, Carrillo, Brown and two other business owners became the first recipients of Metro’s Business Interruption Fund, which seeks to help those affected by rail line construction. The $10 million annual fund will provide as much as $50,000 or up to 60 percent of the annual business revenue loss to businesses impacted by construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Regional Connector and Purple Line Extension. Business management consultant, Pacific Coast Regional administers the fund.
“Since construction began on the Crenshaw Line, local businesses and patrons have been asked to endure quite a lot. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who co-authored the motion to create the first ever fund at Metro with Mayor Eric Garcetti, board member Jaqueline Dupont-Walker and others. “It is critical that we do all we can to support “mom and pop” businesses that are operating now so they can thrive during construction and beyond.”
The fund is unprecedented in LA County, and while the first businesses selected are located along the Crenshaw/LAX line, it will also be used for other businesses county-wide.
“This grant will help my business stay up to date on expenses,” said Carrillo, owner of 1st Choice Driving and Traffic School, who received $44,480. “I am so grateful for this opportunity.”
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and Metro have created a multi-pronged strategy to help businesses along Crenshaw including the Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw campaign to encourage local patronage, the Business Solutions Center to help guide business owners through the difficult times and finally the Business Interruption Fund.
“I feel so blessed and honored,” said Brown, owner of Design Studio 27 who received $9,897. “I want other business owners to know they should use the program. I hope I can be an example to others so they go for it.”