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Housing and Homelessness

Rent Relief Comes For Some LA Small Businesses

A sign on a glass door reads: "Now Hiring. Little Tokyo" with additional contact info.
A sign at an ice-cream shop in L.A. in May 2021.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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L.A. tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been given a chance to apply for rent relief. Now, a new county program is offering relief to some small businesses.

Starting Wednesday, businesses in unincorporated parts of L.A. County will be able to apply to the county’s new Small Business Rent Relief program.

The Details

To qualify, a business must have no more than nine employees and less than $1 million in annual gross revenue. The business must also have been open at same physical location since June 22, 2019.

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County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said the grants of up to $40,000 are meant to clear the rental debts of struggling small employers such as child care centers.

“Now more than ever, we need to not lose childcare providers,” Mitchell said. “We need to not lose any small employer across this county.”

Officials said the program aims to help a few hundred businesses before exhausting the program’s $7.5 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Limited Availability

County officials expect more businesses to seek help than the program can serve — so applicants will be placed in different tiers based on need, and then selected for processing and approval based on the results of a lottery.

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In order to receive funding, businesses will need to show that they lost at least 25% of their revenue during the pandemic.

Certain types of businesses will be excluded from the program, including payday lenders, insurance companies, nightclubs, liquor stores, tarot card readers and cannabis retailers.

Applications will be open for just one week, closing at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Business owners with questions about the program can call 626-210-4500 for more information.

What questions do you have about business and the economy in Southern California?
David Wagner focuses on Southern Californians getting left behind in an economy beset by soaring unemployment, pandemic-related business closures and high housing costs.