If you are a small business owner you understand how challenging the last 8 or more months have been. The Covid -19 pandemic has worked a number of small businesses who in some cases have had to shut down or barely hang by a string. Well, there is help on the way. For LA County, small businesses relief programs have been made available to help cope with the economic downturn.
In a zoom conference recently hosted by Ethnic Media Services, representatives from the county shared some relief programs that small businesses could take advantage of.
Carl Kemp from the Department of Public Health reiterated how important it is to follow all the health protocol for store owners to abide by. Grocery stores should limit customer capacity to 35%, while retail stores to 20%, and take out for restaurants. To find out more information visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/index.htm.
A 37 minute video explaining these safety protocols is also available in a voluntary training program that will certify participants including employees and . Upon completion the certificates can be displayed at the business premises to show that the particular business is complying with safety standards. The programs are tailored to accommodate the particular business type as well. To get information about this program visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/covid19cert.htm. It exists in multiple languages.
Ernesto Bobadilla, from the Department of Public Health, has also introduced the small business Disaster Help Center, in partnership with the county’s Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services agency( WDACS). The goal is to address four key concerns of small businesses including: rental assistance, funding for lost revenue for business during closures,eviction issues, and safety protocols and re-openings. To contact the help desk please call (833) 238-4450, or visit the website at https://tinyurl.com/DisasterHelpCenter.
There are also resources to help transform brick and mortar businesses into virtual or digital platforms through a “concierge unit”.
Through the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, businesses affected by covid-19 can obtain contracts with the government. Learn more at: https://dcba.lacounty.gov/ptac/.
On financial assistance there is more help on the way in the form of new grants and loans. Those will soon be announced for restaurants within the next two weeks with $5 million.
Other speakers including Sarah Fisher, from WDACS, Bet Tzedek and partners and can be reached for legal services at (323) 939-0506, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Alisa Shudofsky, from the non-profit Bet Tzedek Legal Services (https://www.bettzedek.org/) in partnership over 50 law firms will assist small businesses regardless of immigration status.