County launches $500K Employer Assistance Fund for local businesses

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Los Angeles County is set to provide a total of $500,000 to local businesses to assist them in surviving the coronavirus crisis, giving individual businesses that can demonstrate a need up to $10,000 each.

The county’s Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, with the support of the Board of Supervisors, is set to launch the Employer Assistance Grant Fund at 8 a.m. Thursday.

“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted residents and businesses throughout Los Angeles County,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the 5th District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley, said in a prepared statement. “It is vitally important that we pursue every resource available to support local business and help maintain good job opportunities throughout the region.“

This comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a state of emergency in California on March 4, allowing WDACS to apply for funding from California’s Employment Development Department. A portion of the funds received will be used to provide these grants to help businesses retain workers and remain in business, according to WDACS officials.

To qualify for the grant, businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit corporation, partnership, or nonprofit with for-profit activity in L.A. County, as well as social enterprises and nonprofit 501(c)3s.
    • Application review priority is expected to be given to businesses in the unincorporated areas of L.A. County.
  • Have between two and 50 full-time employees.
    • Applicants that serve high-barrier and/or vulnerable populations can exclude transitional employees from this count.
  • Have less than $2 million in gross receipts or annual revenue.
  • Demonstrate significant economic hardship as a result of COVID-19, while businesses that have demonstrated evidence of a loss of revenue of at least 20% are expected to meet the burden of demonstrating significant economic hardship.
    • Applying businesses will have to provide financial and/or organizational documentation that supports this.
  • Have been established at least one quarter prior to March 4, or on or before Dec. 4, 2019.
  • Be able to produce tax returns.

Approximately 25% of awards are expected to be reserved for social enterprises that demonstrate a need and ability to serve vulnerable populations.

Applications are set to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and close once 150 applications are received or at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, whichever comes first. Funds are then scheduled to be disbursed by April 24, contingent on timely responses from applicants.

While funding is not guaranteed, factors that will be considered when determining grant awards include the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, best use/highest impact, years in business operation, number of employees impacted, and ability to leverage alternate funds, according to officials.

Grant funding may be used for the following:

  • Mortgage payments.
  • Bridge funding to other lending or financial resources, such as the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program.
  • Working capital costs.
  • Inventory.
  • Rent.
  • Utility expenses.
  • Other debt obligations incurred before the covered period.

Grants cannot be used to satisfy any outstanding tax liens, legal judgments, lobbying activities, employee payroll or fringe benefit expenses. Compliance with the grant is scheduled to be monitored for three years.

For more information, visit or email [email protected]. For additional resources, contact the L.A. County Business and Worker Disaster Help Center at 833-238-4450.

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