Supes establish COVID-19 Relief Fund for small businesses

Los Angeles County Seal.
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During the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, the board approved a motion to establish the L.A. County COVID-19 Relief Fund for small businesses — and the online application portal is set to open today at 1 p.m.

This motion directs the county’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to develop and implement a loan and grant fund by Tuesday, while allowing them to move swiftly to infuse additional capital into the county.

In order to do so, the county has partnered with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative and Community Reinvestment Fund, USA to bring an additional $15 million in private capital to the county’s small businesses and nonprofits through a new application portal.

The CRF is expected to deploy the capital through the Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable loan established by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Up to 100% of these loans are forgivable if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and loans are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

The application portal is expected to provide an opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits to apply for PPP loans if they have been unable to do so already through traditional banking institutions.

Because early reports indicate that funding for federal PPP loans may be exhausted as early as Friday nationwide, the DCBA is seeking support from eligible businesses to apply to this time-sensitive item quickly, as the CRF attempts to expedite the process through the online portal.

While applicants are set to initially submit an eligibility inquiry questionnaire with CRF, they should be prepared to provide information on their business, including profit and loss statements, tax returns and payroll reports among other documentation.

After applicants successfully submit an inquiry, loan processors at CRF are expected to follow up directly with business owners to obtain these necessary documents and information in order to process the loan request.

All eligible business owners and nonprofits who have been unable to apply for a PPP loan through a bank or other financial institutions are encouraged to submit an inquiry at their earliest opportunity.

The online portal is scheduled to open today at 1 p.m. online at crfusa.com/ppp/la-ppp-inquiry.

For more information or any questions, contact the L.A. County Disaster Help Center at 833-238-4450, visit LACountyHelpCenter.org or email [email protected]. Counselors are available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to help business owners understand available resources, including emergency loan applications.

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