Los Angeles City Councilman John Lee announced Monday that he is working with a local nonprofit called The Change Reaction to create two programs -- one that provides groceries to people in need and another that provides interest-free loans to small businesses within his 12th Council District that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
"This pandemic is the worst in modern history and its impacts across the world, both socially and economically, are devastating," Lee said. "We lean on the guidance and expertise of our public health officials because this is a public health crisis and saving lives is the first priority, but there's no denying that residents are struggling as a result of the measures we've taken."
A Helping Hand is a grocery assistance program for individuals in the northeast San Fernando Valley council district who may be facing food insecurity, job loss or reduced work hours and people who may not be receiving other forms of government assistance.
The program will provide gift cards to people specifically for groceries.
The Small Business Angel Fund will provide interest-free loans to small businesses within the district deemed "essential" during the coronavirus pandemic. It will provide loans for assistance in restructuring lease obligations, credit assessments and a review of operational plans, according to Lee's office.
Repayment terms will be tailored to the borrower's ability to repay the loans, which will be deposited back into the fund to help more small businesses.
To be eligible, businesses must submit proof of 12 months of timely paid rent through March and have submitted an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Lee's office stated.
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The application for the Small Business Angel Fund can be found at https://bit.ly/cd12smallbizangelfund.
The funding for the programs was made possible by a donation from Greg and Jodi Perlman, founders of The Change Reaction, according to Lee's office.
"What we're trying to do here is provide a simple, streamlined process to continue helping local small businesses and families in need,'' Greg Perlman said. "We all have a role to play in supporting the most vulnerable during this crisis."