April 08, 2021

LAWT News Service


Top financial institutions have concluded that while most businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses within the personal care

and retail sectors will have a longer path to recovery than most, having seen a 45% decrease in revenue in 2020.

Following the success of the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund, which dispersed nearly $100 million in grants last year to small businesses and non-profits, the Fund will dedicate $4.7 million dollars to small businesses in the personal care & retail sector.

Eligible businesses within Los Angeles County can apply for a $10,000 grant during the following application periods: April 5 through April 11 or April 26 through May 26 at www.lacovidfund.org/application. Businesses need only apply once.

The Keep Our Shops on the Block Grant was created as a targeted intervention for businesses in the personal care and retail sectors with under $1 million in revenue. To be eligible, business applicants must be in current operation, have an open storefront within LA County (excludes the City of Los Angeles) and documentation of financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.

Eligible small businesses include: hair and beauty salons, nail salons, estheticians, skin care, barbershops, dry cleaners, bakeries, automotive stores and more.

“Main Streets across LA County have experienced a sharp decline in pedestrian traffic throughout the pandemic,” said Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Director Rafael Carbajal. “We hope to revive these corridors by supporting retail and personal care sectors.”

To ensure the equitable distribution of these grants, the County of Los Angeles has chosen Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC LA) to serve as the program administrator. With over 40 years of experience connecting communities to resources and opportunities, LISC LA has the knowledge of seasoned community partners along with the aptitude for expediency to provide this relief to Angelenos.

“While some cities have launched funds dedicated to personal care and retail businesses, this program marks the first county-wide effort to distribute a grant dedicated to brick and mortar businesses in these sectors,” says Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director of LISC LA. “LISC LA anticipates many of these grants will be used to drive business back to storefronts as the County continues to lift COVID-19 restrictions.” Personal care and retail businesses were among the most heavily hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as lockdown orders forced store closures throughout 2020 for business owners whose livelihoods depended on in-person interactions.

As the County of Los Angeles is making tremendous progress in reopening small businesses and stimulating the local economy, it is also committed to working with partners that can provide technical assistance, such as the Small Business Development Network. “The Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network is proud to partner with County of Los Angeles DCBA and LISC LA to support COVID-19-impacted retail and personal care firms,” said Pat Nye, Executive Director for LA SBDC. “We look forward to providing expert advising services to program finalists to help them effectively utilize their grant funds and support economic recovery.”

Financial and technical assistance in a time of economic instability can make all the difference in helping diverse small brick and mortar businesses thrive in 2021. The grant application portal opens on Monday, April 5 at 12:00 a.m. PDT and close on Sunday, April 11 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Apply at: www.lacovidfund.org/application or call 833-238-4450.

Category: Business