Small Los Angeles County businesses in the personal care and retail sector can apply for $10,000 grants starting April 5, county officials announced Wednesday.
The L.A. Regional COVID Fund distributed nearly $100 million in grants last year to small businesses and non-profits, and this new round of funding, called the Keep Our Shops on the Block Grant, will dedicate $4.7 million to personal care and retail businesses.
Eligible businesses include hair and beauty salons, nail salons, esthetic, skin care, electrology, barbershops, shoe repair shops, dry cleaners, automotive or appliance repair, flower shops, party supply stores, bookstores, apparel stores, bakeries, donut shops, community grocery stores/markets and variety discount stores.
To qualify, the applying businesses must have:
- Experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and be able to document it.
- A brick and mortar location in Los Angeles County, but excluding in the city of Los Angeles
- Been in operation since Sept. 4, 2019 and still be currently in business
- Annual revenue under $1 million
“Main streets across L.A. County have experienced a sharp decline in pedestrian traffic throughout the pandemic,” said Rafael Carbajal, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “We hope to revive these corridors by supporting retail and personal care sectors.”
The county chose the personal care and retail sector for the grant because those businesses were among the most impacted by the pandemic, as restrictions forced closures for much of 2020, officials said.
Businesses unsure whether they are within the city of Los Angeles and thereby ineligible for the grants can verify their location at https://lavote.net/apps/precinctsmaps.
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,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles, which serves as the program’s administrator.
Business owners can apply for the grant at lacovidfund.org/application. Applications are open April 5 through April 11 and April 26 through May 2.