In an unprecedented move forward, the Metro Board of Directors recently awarded a two year contract to help small businesses impacted by Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project construction.
“Rail construction is always challenging and it’s particularly difficult for nearby businesses,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “That’s why we are committed to standing with these merchants during the whole construction process.”
The Metro pilot Business Solution Center will provide hands-on case management services for small businesses along the Crenshaw corridor between 48th and 60th streets and other areas impacted by construction activities. Services will include marketing help, business plan development, financial planning, small business operations advice and legal assistance counseling. In addition, the center will help small businesses apply for capital via existing loan programs. It also will help them gain certification as small, disadvantaged, disabled, veteran-owned, minority-owned and/or woman-owned businesses.
This contract is the newest addition to a comprehensive initiative to support small businesses along the Crenshaw Line. Under the newly established $10 million business interruption fund, some businesses will be eligible to receive a maximum of $50,000 annually, not to exceed 60 percent of their business revenue loss. To qualify, owners must have no more than 25 employees; have been in operation for two years, are in good standing with local, state and federal tax requirements and are able to produce financial record demonstrating the loss of business revenue directly related to the construction are eligible for assistance. Also, at the 9th Annual Taste of Soul festival Metro kicked off its Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw campaign. So far more than 1,000 people have pledged to buy local and visit area businesses.
“This Business Solution Center – while not solving all problems – is an important first step toward helping the local business community survive and thrive during the difficult days. We are happy that we could make this happen,” said the Supervisor.
The Business Solution Center is expected to open in late November, 2014 and will be located at the Los Angeles Urban League, 3450 Mount Vernon Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90008.