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LA City Council To Consider Rent Relief For Olvera Street Businesses

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Shuttered businesses on Olvera Street at the start of the pandemic. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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The L.A. City Council's budget committee today agreed to a plan that would forgive six months of rent for businesses along downtown’s historic Olvera Street. The full council will still have to approve the measure.

A move to forgive rent from July through December would be welcome news for the 60 or so businesses that call the historic monument home. They pay rent to the city, and while they can delay payments during the pandemic, they currently are expected to pay up at some point.

Gregory Berber owns La Luz del Dia restaurant, which he says pays about $13,000 a month in rent. Berber told us his family has been selling food on Olvera Street for close to a century. Since the pandemic hit, he said, business has been down 90%.

“It’s sad. If you come down here, what you see most people doing is taking pictures of an empty street," Berber said. "If Olvera Street doesn’t have foot traffic, none of these businesses will be able to survive.”

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He and other Olvera Street business owners said without support from the city, they may have to permanently close.

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