L.A. City Council member John Lee announced Tuesday an expansion of his Small Business Relief Fund into Watts, San Pedro, South L.A., and the west San Fernando Valley.
The fund will provide interest-free loans to sole proprietors and small businesses in City Council districts 3, 9, 12 and 15 that have been unable to access government grants and loans. That includes Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s West Valley territories of Woodland Hills, Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana and Winnetka.
Money from loan repayments will be recycled back into the fund and reissued as loans to other small businesses.
To be eligible, businesses must have normal revenues under $1 million and 15 or fewer employees. Applicants must submit proof of 12 months of timely paid rent through March 2020, and must have submitted an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application to the Small Business Administration.
The expanded fund is the result of an ongoing partnership between Lee and the nonprofit grant-making organization Change Reaction. The nonprofit’s founders, Greg and Jodi Perlman, donated $1 million to Lee’s office in April to create the Council District 12 Small Business Angel Fund. So far, it has issued about $400,000 in loans to 30 small businesses in Lee’s District 12.
“After having successfully launched our Small Business Relief Fund in partnership with Councilman John Lee in CD12, we wanted to expand the program to more businesses in our local community,” said Greg Perlman in a statement. “What we’re trying to do here is provide a simple, streamlined process to help local small businesses in need.”