L.A. City Council member John Lee announced Thursday that Chatsworth’s San Carlo Deli is the first loan recipient from the Council District 12 Small Business Angel Fund.
Lee will present an interest-free loan of an undisclosed amount to the deli, a Chatsworth staple for more than 30 years, at a ceremony on May 13.
The hard times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic were exacerbated when the deli’s owner, Pasquale Roberto, tested positive for the virus in March. He was too ill at the time to apply for the small business relief programs that were available. The deli has been closed for about six weeks with no revenue.
In addition to the loan, Lee’s office helped restructure San Carlo Deli’s lease obligations so it could reopen for pickup and delivery earlier this week.
The CD12 Small Business Angel Fund is a partnership between Lee and the nonprofit grantmaking organization Change Reaction. The nonprofit’s founders, Greg and Jodi Perlman, donated $1 million to Lee’s office for the creation of the fund.
“This pandemic is the worst in modern history and its impacts across the world, both socially and economically, are devastating,” said Lee in a statement. “We have an obligation to do everything we can to not only help our residents get their very basic needs met, but to also support the business community so that our economy can rebound when we are ready to lift the stay at home order.”
To qualify, businesses must be located in District 12 and have submitted an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Angel fund applicants can request loans of $5,000 to $25,000. Repayment terms will be tailored to the borrower’s ability to repay. According to Grace Yao, the communications director for Lee’s office, the fund has currently earmarked $200,000 in loans for about a dozen small businesses. Money from loan repayments will be recycled back into the fund and reissued as loans to other small businesses.
In addition to the loan fund, Lee and Change Reaction created a grocery assistance program called “A Helping Hand” to distribute free Super King grocery gift cards to District 12 residents facing food insecurity due to loss of job or income as a result of the pandemic.