Los Angeles County Monday announced rent relief grants of up to $40,000 for small-business tenants in unincorporated areas who have fallen behind on their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell hosted a virtual news conference Monday to announce the program, which is funded with federal coronavirus aid dollars.
"The Small Business Rent Relief cannot come soon enough for the countless businesses that have had to weather the costly and unpredictable impact of COVID-19. As Los Angeles County starts to recover, our employers have been left with crushing amounts of back rent due," Mitchell said. "This will be just the first of many county projects targeting economic resiliency for our small employers."
Eligible businesses must:
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- have a brick-and-mortar business located in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County;
- have an annual average of nine or fewer full-time equivalent employees;
- have annual total gross revenues of no more than $1 million; and
- be able to demonstrate a gross revenue loss of at least 25% over a 12-month time frame falling at least in part within the period of the county's COVID-19 Emergency Order that went into effect March 4, 2020 and is still in effect.
The county will focus on businesses in communities most in need of immediate and long-term pandemic and economic relief interventions. Assessments will rely on risk factors for COVID-19 infection, vulnerability to severe outcomes if infected and the ability to recover from the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
Applications will be assigned an equity tier and a lottery will be held for each tier to determine ranking order. A total of $7.5 million in federal funding is currently available for the program, according to a program representative.
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Applications will be accepted for eight days starting Wednesday 8 a.m. through Nov. 24 at 5 p.m.
"Just because a business survived the pandemic, doesn't mean they don't need help," Supervisor Janice Hahn said. "The COVID-19 crisis and the health orders the county put in place to try to save lives hit our small businesses hard and many of them still owe back rent. This project is meant to give these small-business owners some relief so they can get past the pandemic and focus on recovery and the future of their businesses."
More information is available at this website.