Free cash nonetheless accessible for small L.A. companies hit by COVID

With pandemic state of emergency over, the federal government packages tied to COVID-19 have both ended or are winding down. However you probably have a small enterprise in Los Angeles that was affected by the pandemic — and which of them weren’t? — you continue to have time to use for a shot of free cash.

The town of Los Angeles is providing as much as $15,000 to certified small companies within the metropolis that missed hire funds in the course of the pandemic. Functions for these funds are due by the tip of the day Wednesday.

The county Division of Financial Alternative, in the meantime, is providing Financial Alternative Grants that small companies and nonprofits affected by the pandemic can use for things like operational bills and pandemic-related prices. These functions must be submitted by Might 31.

Listed here are the main points on who’s eligible and easy methods to apply.

Industrial hire aid within the metropolis of L.A.

The town’s Financial & Workforce Improvement Division is nearing the tip of its third spherical of grants to assist companies make overdue hire funds. About $1.8 million stays of the $8.5 million town put aside for small enterprise hire aid, utilizing cash from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The grants may be spent solely on hire debt accrued in the course of the pandemic — to be exact, from March 1, 2020, by means of April 30, 2023. And also you’ll must specify how the pandemic damage what you are promoting.

To qualify, your annual income have to be $5 million or much less. However the enterprise doesn’t must be your essential supply of revenue; in the event you’ve fallen behind in your hire funds on the L.A. storage the place you retailer the vehicles you customise at evening and on weekends, for instance, you’ll be able to nonetheless qualify.

There are a variety of eligibility guidelines that may disqualify lots of the metropolis’s entrepreneurs and startups. Help is offered solely to for-profit companies within the metropolis which have a present L.A. enterprise tax registration certificates, and provided that they’ve a sound lease for business property — work-from-home operations and entities with subleases should not eligible. The enterprise should have been working on or earlier than March 1, 2020, and it can not have obtained help within the metropolis’s two earlier rounds of hire aid.

The town has declared an extended checklist of companies ineligible for these grants, together with lenders, insurers, landlords, publicly traded firms, gun sellers, lobbying corporations and day merchants. Additionally excluded are lots of the enterprises devoted to, shall we embrace, less-productive actions, similar to hashish-related operations, nightclubs, liquor shops, psychics, therapeutic massage companies and playing websites.

Jamie Francisco, spokesperson for the Financial & Workforce Improvement Division, stated in an e mail that the grants gained’t be awarded on a first-come, first-serve foundation, so it gained’t damage to use on the final minute. As an alternative, she stated, recipients will probably be chosen by means of a lottery, though two forms of candidates may have a better likelihood of getting picked: these in low- and moderate-income communities, and people from extra deprived census tracts.

Grant recipients will probably be notified in early July, Francisco stated. If there’s any funding left over, he stated, the division will take a look at the outcomes and determine whether or not to do one other spherical or shift the cash to a different aid program for small companies.

Grant functions can be found on the division’s web site. Without spending a dime in-person help, go to one of many division’s 10 BusinessSource facilities across the metropolis. To show what you are promoting’ eligibility, you’ll have to submit copies of a number of paperwork, together with what you are promoting tax returns from 2019 and 2020, the lease for what you are promoting property and proof of your earlier hire funds.

Help for small companies in L.A. County

The county’s Financial Alternative Grant program has collected $54 million from the state and federal governments to offer aid to companies and nonprofits within the county which have been considerably affected by the pandemic. It’s utilizing the funds to offer 5 forms of grants to candidates based mostly on the quantity of income they gather yearly and their location.

The cash can be utilized to purchase gear, put money into operations, pay wages or different enterprise bills, and canopy prices associated to COVID-19. It can’t be used for anything. The bigger grants additionally bar candidates from spending the cash on something that has been or will probably be lined by different federal aid packages.

Solely companies which might be nonetheless working in L.A. County are eligible. Apply on-line on the Financial Alternative Grant program web site; for help, go to this system’s assist web page or name (833) 364-7268. Assist is offered in 15 languages, together with English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean.

Utilizing state tax {dollars}, the Financial Alternative Grant program gives $2,500 to the smallest of small companies: these with 5 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees (together with these with no employees aside from the proprietor) and fewer than $50,000 in gross income in 2019. They should have began operations earlier than the tip of 2019, and may be situated wherever within the county, together with town of Los Angeles.

To use, you have to be the proprietor of the enterprise, and it have to be your major supply of revenue — no facet hustles on this class. And in the event you’ve already obtained a California Small Enterprise COVID-19 Reduction Grant, you’ll be able to’t get hold of one other one.

The complete checklist of eligibility necessities, which may be discovered on this system’s web site, particulars a number of excluded ventures, together with lenders, inventory merchants, lobbyists, strip golf equipment, or “a enterprise engaged in any socially undesirable exercise or exercise which may be thought of predatory in nature, similar to rent-to-own companies or check-cashing companies.”

Utilizing federal {dollars} from the American Rescue Plan Act, this system can also be providing grants of as much as $20,000 to small companies within the county outdoors town of Los Angeles, and grants of as much as $25,000 to nonprofits that serve the complete county, together with these based mostly inside town of Los Angeles. Candidates in each teams should have began operations earlier than then finish of 2021.

Right here’s how these grants break down:

  • $15,000 for microbusinesses with lower than $100,000 in income in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
  • $20,000 for small companies with $100,000 to $2 million in income in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
  • $20,000 for nonprofit social service organizations with lower than $1 million in income in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
  • $25,000 for nonprofit social service organizations with $1 million to $5 million in income in 2019, 2020 or 2021.

As with the opposite grant packages, the county has a laundry checklist of companies that aren’t eligible. These embody lenders, insurers, pawnshops, palm readers, nightclubs, liquor shops, hashish companies, strip golf equipment, junk shops and gun sellers. Meals-industry candidates have one further requirement: They’ll’t have a failing grade from the county Division of Public Well being.

Jay Tsao and Tova Mac of Align Group, which is doing outreach for this system, stated the help is offered to small-business homeowners even when the enterprise isn’t their major supply of revenue. Candidates should present tax returns to show that their enterprise meets the revenue limits, although, in addition to some form of proof that you just’re the proprietor of an actual enterprise — for instance, a duplicate of a enterprise or skilled license.

The county has already began awarding the $2,500 grants to the smallest companies, Mac stated, however there may be nonetheless cash remaining in that program. The bigger grants gained’t be awarded till after the appliance window closes Might 31, she stated; Tsao stated this system expects to make these awards “previous to the center of the 12 months.”

Hundreds of functions for the bigger grants have already been obtained, he stated, so there’ll most likely be extra demand for {dollars} than there may be provide. However the county gained’t award the grants on a first-come, first-served foundation, Mac stated; as an alternative, the county will probably be guided by the priorities it has set for its American Rescue Plan Act funding.

For nonprofits, she stated, the county’s priorities embody organizations that serve the unhoused and supply coaching, training and different packages for youth. And though the small-business grants are for everybody, Tsao stated, the county is focusing its outreach efforts on underserved communities and people hit hardest by the pandemic.

About The Occasions Utility Journalism Group

This text is from The Occasions’ Utility Journalism Group. Our mission is to be important to the lives of Southern Californians by publishing data that solves issues, solutions questions and helps with determination making. We serve audiences in and round Los Angeles — together with present Occasions subscribers and numerous communities that haven’t traditionally had their wants met by our protection.

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