Beginning Monday, small Los Angeles County businesses in the personal care and retail sector can apply for $10,000 grants.
The L.A. Regional COVID Fund distributed nearly $100 million in grants last year to small businesses and nonprofits, and this new round of funding, called the Keep Our Shops on the Block Grant, dedicates $4.7 million to personal care and retail businesses.
Eligible businesses include hair and beauty salons, nail salons, estheticians, skin care, barber shops, dry cleaners, bakeries and automotive stores. They must have an open storefront in L.A. County, excluding the city of Los Angeles, make less than $1 million in revenue per year, and must show proof of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Main streets across L.A. County have experienced a sharp decline in pedestrian traffic throughout the pandemic,” Rafael Carbajal, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, said last week. “We hope to revive these corridors by supporting retail and personal care sectors.”
The county chose the personal care and retail sector for the grants because those businesses were among the most impacted by the pandemic, as restrictions forced closures for much of 2020, officials said.
“While some cities have launched funds dedicated to personal care and retail businesses, this program marks the first county-wide effort to distribute a grant dedicated to brick-and-mortar businesses in these sectors,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles, which serves as the program’s administrator.
Business owners can apply for the grant at lacovidfund.org/application. Applications are open Monday through April 11, and April 26 through May 2.