$100 Million to Boost Microentrepreneurs, Small Businesses, and Nonprofits

Los Angeles area businesses and nonprofits face significant challenges during the current public health and economic crisis of COVID-19. Thousands of those businesses will now be eligible to receive critical financial assistance thanks to $100 million of additional funding which will greatly increase the impact of the Los Angeles Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, a joint effort by the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and philanthropic partners.

The Recovery Fund, which has already awarded $3.2 million in grants to more than 300 L.A. County microentrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits, has now been bolstered by an additional $60 million in CARES Act funding from the County of Los Angeles and an additional $40 million from City of Los Angeles. This will provide thousands of Los Angeles County businesses with awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

“COVID-19 has not only been a public health challenge of enormous scale and human impact, it has devastated a major economic engine for our communities and regional economy—small businesses and microenterprises,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “With this fund, more help is on the way and it will be distributed equitably to the communities and small businesses most in need.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated communities across Los Angeles County with significant health and economic impacts,” said Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “The L.A. Regional Recovery Fund is one of many efforts led by the County to help our residents and businesses get through these challenging times and emerge stronger than before.”

“COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to countless mom-and-pop shops, local restaurants, microentrepreneurs, and nonprofits – and we bear a clear responsibility to help them navigate through the worst of this crisis,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The L.A. Regional COVID Recovery Fund is a tribute to the power of our partnership, between the City and County, to deliver financial relief, vital aid, and the tools for recovery to the small businesses and workers who form the backbone of our economy.”

Businesses can apply for the next round of Recovery Fund awards starting today by visiting LACOVIDFund.org. Businesses will only need to apply once to be eligible for future rounds. Nonprofit organizations, which play such a unique and important role in our communities, will also be eligible for $75,000 awards in a later round of funding.

“The City and County of Los Angeles are dedicating tens of millions of dollars in grant funds, which, in part, will prioritize assistance for underserved businesses and nonprofits, such as low-income Black, Latino, women and microentrepreneur business owners,” said L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez. “These are small business owners who did not get a fair shot at the federal government’s stimulus PPP funds, but need immediate assistance to keep their operations open. Each owner’s narrative is the story of L.A. and an American Dream unlike any other. The L.A. Regional COVID Fund exists to keep these Angelenos and their businesses and non-profits alive and flourishing. We encourage all eligible business owners to apply for Round Four.”

“Small businesses, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now more than ever, I am committed to ensuring they get the financial support they need to get through this crisis so they can survive and thrive long after this economic downturn,” said Los Angeles County Chair Pro Tem Hilda L. Solis. “Nothing is more important to me than keeping small businesses and our regional economy strong, and we all win when we invest in our hardworking entrepreneurs. This unprecedented global pandemic requires an unprecedented response, and L.A. County stands ready to offer relief to our small businesses.”

“We have been able to use these grants to keep some small businesses afloat and save local jobs, but there are so many more businesses that have been devastated by this pandemic and need our help,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but this latest round of funding is another opportunity for business owners, gig workers, and nonprofits to get help and the new features make it easier than ever to get connected to future grants.”

“Our local businesses and nonprofits have struggled to adapt to the pandemic, doing their best to keep their employees on the payroll and find creative ways to stay in business despite tremendous obstacles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I am glad that L.A. County is now able to offer dramatically more money to our businesses to help them weather this storm.”

“The coronavirus has caused major havoc to our city. Millions are unemployed with no savings to fall back on, our small businesses are on life support struggling to survive or expect financial challenges for years to come,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr., who opened the Business Resource Center (BRC) inside his District Office on 43rd Street and Central Avenue in 2014 to help local entrepreneurs. “Our small local businesses need a lifeline and The L.A. Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund provides just that—a glimmer of hope for workers to maintain their jobs and our business community to weather the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To ensure equitable access to capital across various demographics throughout the region, grants will be distributed through an online weighted system. The public-private partnership will be administered by national community development financial institution partner, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC will administer the grant process and work through local partners to reach businesses and nonprofits who may not have received Federal relief funds.

“Our small businesses and nonprofits are in need of even more resources right now to better weather the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director of LISC-LA. “LISC is proud to be working with L.A. County and L.A. City to provide grants to small businesses and nonprofits to ensure that our social safety net is strong during this unprecedented time.”

Recovery Fund programming was developed in partnership with LISC by the County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA), and the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD). “The $100 million Recovery Fund represents an unprecedented partnership between L.A. County and L.A. City agencies to support the area’s pandemic-ravaged small business and nonprofit community in an inclusive and equitable way,” said DCBA Director Joseph M. Nicchitta. “No matter where a small business or nonprofit is headquartered within the County, they are encouraged to apply for a grant through the Recovery Fund.”

Emilio Salas, LACDA Acting Executive Director, said, “We understand that keeping businesses in service means preserving a business owners’ dream, securing employment, and maintaining access to resources in a community. The monetary support being provided will reassure businesses, and residents alike, that we are undergoing this crisis together.”

Local partners providing technical assistance with proven experience in serving the County’s most vulnerable communities include the API Small Business Program, Inclusive Action for the City, LA Area Chamber of Commerce, New Economics for Women, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), Pacific Coast Regional (PCR), The Center by Lendistry, and Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation.

Those who need assistance are encouraged to call the L.A. County Disaster Help Center, a one-stop for local emergency resources, at (833) 238-4450 or visit lacountyhelpcenter.org. The Disaster Help Center can connect callers to LA Regional COVID Fund partners and provide the most updated Fund information.