The Small Chambers of Commerce Emergency Relief Grants program is funded by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development to provide economic assistance to small Chambers of Commerce that support the City’s businesses, particularly those negatively impacted by COVID-19. Financial assistance will be allocated to eligible, qualified small Chambers of Commerce with awards based on availability of funds, program guidelines, and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation. This program is part of the L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund, which was launched in March 2020 to respond to critical needs in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Chambers of Commerce Emergency Relief Grants Program application form may be accessed here. The deadline to apply for the program is July 30, 2021.
The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles launched the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant Program in February 2021 to help small local businesses in the hardest-hit industries recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), the Mayor’s Fund is providing grants to 1,030 businesses to help them cover urgent costs like payroll, rent, utilities, and other business-related expenses. Businesses were randomly selected from a pool of eligible businesses. Priority is given to industries that were the most adversely impacted by the pandemic, such as the hospitality industry (including restaurants and food service), arts & entertainment venues, health & beauty services (such as barbershops, nail and hair salons), retail, laundry/dry cleaning, and other services. This program is part of the L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund, which was launched in March 2020 to respond to critical needs in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has deeply impacted small local businesses and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. One of the most vulnerable groups within this business ecosystem throughout the pandemic has been the sidewalk vendor community. The challenges with formalizing an informal sector coupled with the devastating impact of the pandemic and the dearth of dedicated funding to assist this community have created significant obstacles for vendors to complete the process of obtaining permits and business licenses to comply with vending and public health requirements. The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is supporting a 6-month pilot with the City’s BusinessSource Centers to provide technical assistance for approximately 650 sidewalk vendors throughout the City. Each BusinessSource Center will offer one-on-one, in-the-field assistance to help vendors apply for, secure, and/or renew vendor permits; complete the public health compliance process; attain a L.A. City Business Tax Registration Certificate; and conduct the outreach necessary to ensure this community has access to key business resources and services.
The COVID-19 crisis highlighted and accelerated the need for businesses to have an online presence, from simply sharing information about operating hours and protocols during the pandemic, to building out e-commerce functionality and expanding a customer base. LA Optimized, currently incubated as part of our Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, was launched during the pandemic to help small businesses, particularly those in low-income communities, make use of tools that can help them strengthen and grow their businesses. LA Optimized provides customized assistance to help businesses set up online listings and social media platforms, attain an e-commerce health audit with individualized assessments, and access design assets tailored to their needs to help attract and retain customers. For more information on LA Optimized, please visit lacityoptimized.org