Prior to the pandemic, many small businesses in Los Angeles were struggling under the weight of soaring rent prices in the city. Now, entrepreneurs are being crushed by lockdowns with little hope that the federal government will swoop in to offer some relief, forcing them to figure things out for themselves.
One option for micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses, or non-profits in the area is to apply for a grant through the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund. The fund has 3 million dollars available to disperse in $5,000 to $15,000 increments. Unlike the federal PPP loan program that "small" businesses (like, ahem, Sweetgreen and Shake Shack?) could apply for, the selection process for this grant will be through an equitable, weighted lottery system.
There will be six rounds of grant funding to enter from now until mid-September, and each round will require a new application. Applicants who meet the following criteria will have their entry weighted more heavily than those who don't:
- Entities who serve or are located in areas with lower income levels.
- Veteran-owned entities.
- Entities taking in less than $500,000 yearly revenue.
This weighted system will allow for grants to be equitably dispersed between more vulnerable communities. Another measure to ensure the process is fair includes making the application available in 15 different languages.
For more information on the application and lottery rounds, you can visit their website and if you're a renter, homeowner, or property manager in LA County, you can check out our COVID-19 Resource Page.