On Tuesday, June 2, Councilman Curren Price introduced two motions dedicated to assisting small businesses and non-profits left behind by federal loans and other assistance in response to COVID-19.
One proposal calls for an additional $30 million to replenish the city’s Small Business Emergency Loan Program. In March, Councilman Price advocated for $11 million in funding to create the program, which provides no-fee loans between $5,000 and $20,0000, with a zero percent interest rate and repayment deferred up to six months. As of May, the Economic & Workforce Development Department had received nearly 4,000 applications, showing the desperate need to serve as many local businesses that have had to endure closures, layoffs and loss of revenues.
Councilman Price presented a second motion seeking the city's participation in the Los Angeles Regional COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, which would provide loans and grants to small businesses, micro entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations.
The relief and recovery fund would be a collaboration between the city, county, philanthropic organizations and financial institutions. It aims to assist businesses with fewer than 20 employees, many of which were shut out of federal loans. Recent data shows that currently more than half of the county is without a job due to COVID-19. The motion asks for a $4 million commitment by the city to launch the program.
The two proposals will be reviewed next by the city’s new Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment, which Councilman Price is a member of.