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L.A. County and City to Give $3 Million in Grants to Small Businesses

July 7, 2020 by Christina Champlin

Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles have joined forces to deploy $3 million dollars in grants to small businesses, non-profits, and micro-entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations will receive grants through the L.A. Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund. Micro-entrepreneurs may receive $5,000 while nonprofits and small businesses may receive $15,000. A lottery system will ensure funds are distributed equitably across the region. The program is spread over six rounds of grant funding from July through September. The grant portal for the first round is open now through July 10.

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“Our small businesses and social enterprises are not only the economic engine of our region but its heart and soul,” L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a release. “We know that once COVID-19 is gone, the economic damage will remain. We must do all that we can to make sure we’re supporting them through this difficult and unprecedented moment.”

The Recovery Fund deploys in two phases. The first phase consists of a grant program, and a second phase consists of a loan program to launch at a later date. 

Applicants must submit a new application for each round of assistance. See more eligibility info below:

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Micro-Entrepreneurs (eligible for $5,000)

  • Includes workers participating in the gig economy, street vendors, sole proprietors, independent contractors, 1099 workers, and/or LLCs with revenues of $100,000 or less in the most recent available tax return (2018 or 2019).
  • Must have 2018 or 2019 tax return to verify revenue.

Small Businesses (eligible for $15,000)

  • Registered for-profit businesses that have a yearly gross revenue of more than $100,000 but less than $1 million based on the most recent available tax return (2018 or 2019).
  • Must have 2018 or 2019 tax return to verify revenue.
  • Must be an “Active” business with the California Secretary of State.

Nonprofits (eligible for $15,000)

  • Registered 501(C)(3) organizations that have annual gross revenue of less than $1 million based on the most recent available 990 form (2018 or 2019).
  • Must provide supportive services to low- to moderate-income individuals or families in L.A. County.
  • Must provide a filed 990 for 2018 or 2019 to verify revenue.
  • Must be an “Active” nonprofit with the California Secretary of State.

Additional Requirements:

  • All entities must have been created as of September 2019.
  • Small businesses must have filed taxes for the fiscal year 2018 or 2019 to verify that their gross revenue was $1,000,000 or less.
  • Nonprofits must have filed 990 forms for the fiscal year 2018 or 2019 to verify that their gross revenue was $1,000,000 or less.
  • Upon award, nonprofits must be able to provide tax status verification documentation.
  • Upon award, small businesses and nonprofits must be able to verify that their entity is “Active” with the California Secretary of State.
  • Upon award, veteran-owned businesses will need to provide DD214 forms.
  • Upon award, all winners must provide a W9 form and bank account information.
  • All winners will be required to attend a one-hour webinar on completing the verification process to receive grant funds. Translators and/or in-language support are available for winners who don’t speak English as their primary language.

To support the most vulnerable in our communities, applicants that meet the following criteria will be weighted more heavily in the lottery system:

  • Entities located in or primarily serving low- to moderate-income (LMI) census tracts, as defined by HUD. More information.
  • Veteran-owned small businesses
  • Small businesses and nonprofits with less than $500,000 in yearly revenues

Applications are available in 15 languages, but must be filled out in English and submitted to the grant portal here.

Reach out to the L.A. County Disaster Help Center at 1-833-238-4450 with any additional questions or email LACovidFund@lisc.org. More information can be found at LACovidFund.org

For local business owners in need of additional assistance, the Los Angeles Office of Finance compiled a list of resources for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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