Los Angeles County on Wednesday launched a round of grants geared toward small businesses behind on rent in unincorporated areas. Eligible businesses have until Nov. 24 to apply for up to $40,000.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized the Small Business Rent Relief Grant Project, to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, in an effort to spur continued economic recovery in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The rescue act authorized $50 million from the city’s 2021-2022 budget to implement a series of programs that promote a strong and equitable economic recovery in the city.


The grants, which will provide up to $40,000 to businesses to help cover rent past due since March of last year, will be administered by the Los Angeles County Development Authority.


In order to be eligible, businesses must have a brick-and-mortar location in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. In addition, the businesses must have nine or fewer full-time employees, have annual gross revenues under $1 million and be able to demonstrate at least a 25 percent loss in revenue since the pandemic started.

“The Small Business Rent Relief cannot come soon enough for the countless businesses that have had to weather the costly and unpredictable impact of COVID-19. As Los Angeles County starts to recover, our employers have been left with crushing amounts of back rent due,” Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell said in a statement. “I am proud to help offer this lifeline to ensure that our businesses are able to stay open. This will be just the first of many County projects targeting economic resiliency for our small employers.”

 
The latest relief grants are part of several programs made available to business owners by the city and county as the region manages the economic impact of COVID-19. The city’s “Comeback Checks” program, which will provide $5,000 to 5,000 small businesses through a weighted lottery, received 18,000 applications during its weeklong application period that closed Nov. 2. Additional recovery programs have targeted small restaurants, nonprofits and other organizations.


“Just because a business survived the pandemic, doesn’t mean they don’t need help,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement. “The COVID-19 crisis and the health orders the county put in place to try to save lives hit our small businesses hard and many of them still owe back rent. This project is meant to give these small business owners some relief so they can get past the pandemic and focus on recovery and the future of their businesses.”