January 26, 2022
Lara Arsinian, DEO Communications
Phase 1 of LA County’s $54 Million Economic Opportunity Grant Program Now Open for Microbusinesses
Microbusinesses can visit grants.lacounty.gov to apply today!
Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) today announced the launch of the first phase of the Economic Opportunity Grant (EOG) program for small and microbusinesses, and non-profit agencies in LA County. EOG will award more than $54 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds across 6,800 grants in a phased rollout to regions and organizations adversely affected by COVID-19.
Eligible grantees may be awarded between $2,500 and $25,000 and can access on-demand application assistance, one-on-one online and in-person technical support, and pipelines to other County programs, grants, and contracting opportunities available to support post-pandemic recovery. DEO has partnered with Lendistry and the L.A. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to create a central application portal for this grant and future grant opportunities, and to facilitate direct concierge support.
During Phase One, beginning today, LA County’s smallest and most vulnerable businesses under $50k in annual gross revenue will be able to apply for grants of $2,500, funded by the State. Phase Two, funded by ARPA, will also be available to microbusinesses but will expand to include small businesses and nonprofits with grants ranging between $15,000 or $20,000 per grant for small businesses and $20,000 or $25,000 per grant for nonprofits. Phase Two is expected to launch in February 2023. EOG will run at least through May 2023 or when available funds are expended.
“Through no fault of their own, small businesses and microbusinesses were devastated during the pandemic and many continue to struggle to recover,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn. “With these grants we are going to shore up these businesses, preserve what these small businesses owners have worked so hard to build, and save jobs in our communities.”
“Small businesses and non-profit organizations are the backbones of our local economy’s stability and mobility,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “Over the last year, I have worked to empower the small business community in the First District by providing them with community block funding grants – ensuring that they have the necessary relief to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m grateful that with the support of President Joe Biden, we can utilize American Rescue Plan Act funding to reach more impacted and vulnerable entrepreneurs through our Economic Opportunity Grant Program. I hope that this initiative catalyzes growth and opportunity, but most importantly, trust, with our small businesses and non-profit community.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “ We know that 92% of businesses in LA County have 20 employees or fewer, and this American Rescue Plan-funded grant opportunity allows us to infuse capital in businesses who have been hardest hit by COVID-19. These businesses, many of whom are woman-owned, microbusinesses of color, have historically been left out of accessing capital. The Economic Opportunity Grant Program is the embodiment of recovering with equity and we are proud to get this money in the hands of those who need it the most.”
“It is our responsibility to make sure that we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic better and stronger than before,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “By supporting owners and entrepreneurs throughout LA County, the Economic Opportunity Grants Program will promote and strengthen the small business community that makes Los Angeles County so unique.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that these Economic Opportunity Grants will make a big difference to small business owners who are facing financial pressure due to no fault of their own,” said Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I’m hopeful these grants will start to bring some relief. They deserve our support.”
“LA County’s small businesses and nonprofits are anchors to our local communities and kept us safe and connected during the pandemic, but they continue to struggle as we start to recover. Now, it is our turn to help through the Economic Opportunity Grants program,” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of the new Department of Economic Opportunity. “Through EOG, we’re putting $50 million back into the community, creating pathways to opportunities and streamlining access to pandemic relief for all businesses in LA County. We’re grateful to the Board of Supervisors, the State of California Office of the Small Business Advocate, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and finally, the American Rescue Plan for the continued support and partnership as we support our small business community through post pandemic recovery.”
“LA County’s small business community is strong, but too many women and BIPOC owned small businesses remain at risk. We appreciate the County for providing the Economic Opportunity Grant program which will help support their survival and resiliency in this post-pandemic recovery,” says Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, President and CEO of The Center by Lendistry.
“We’re especially proud to deliver these grants to businesses and future entrepreneurs in our home county. Our customer-centric approach was raised here,” says Everett K. Sands, founder and CEO of Lendistry. “Los Angeles County is a microcosm of our entire country, and serving its diverse small business community has made Lendistry a better and more innovative platform with a stronger team.”
“So many of our region’s small businesses and nonprofits have yet to begin their recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic, and continue to face significant challenges,” said Pat Nye, Regional Director for the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center Network (LASBDC). “LA County’s Economic Opportunity Grants program is a true lifeline to small business in communities across our region and the LA SBDC is proud to partner with LA County on important resources like these.”
Applicants can visit grants.lacounty.gov to apply or to see open and upcoming applications, access live webinars, instructional how-to-apply videos and demos, one-on-one application support and in-person support events across the County. Successful applicants will receive notice within 30 days of submission.
Multi-lingual application assistance and support will be provided by SBDC and partners, and will include the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. Potential applicants can call the EOG Call Center for general inquires and application assistance at (833) 364-7268.
In addition to Economic Opportunity Grant program, small businesses can also connect with DEO’s Office of Small Business to access customized one-on-one business counseling, free legal assistance on topics including commercial tenancy, contract development, intellectual property and more, and specialized webinars, workshops, and trainings to help residents open and grow a business. Contact the Office of Small Business at 844-432-4900 or via email at OSB@opportunity.lacounty.gov.