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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a program on Sept. 1 that will provide small business owners with counseling, education and debt repayment assistance to help with economic recovery from the pandemic.
“Small businesses account for nearly half the jobs in our city and their recovery is essential to our economy,” Garcetti said. “We recognize that small businesses are the foundation of our communities and we are committed to helping them get back on their feet.”
Free counseling will be provided to small businesses through a collaboration between the city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department and the nonprofit Money Management International. The program will offer guidance, resources and assistance to small business owners to help them stabilize cash flow, decrease debt, improve credit standing and reach their financial goals.
The city’s small businesses have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, with women- and minority-owned businesses suffering the biggest losses, the mayor said. At the same time, Black small business owners received significantly less federal financial support – approximately $19,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans compared to white business owners, who received $47,000 on average, according to city data.
Closing the structural gap in available financial relief is one of the new program’s primary goals.
In the past year, the city launched the Small Business Microloan Program, the L.A. Recovery Fund and small business grants distributing more than $56 million to businesses and microentrepreneurs. This fall, the city will provide $37 million to further boost economic recovery among L.A.’s small businesses.
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