The grant program has expanded to serve small businesses ($15,000 or $20,000 per grant) and nonprofits ($20,000 or $25,000 per grant).
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has launched Phase Two of the Economic Opportunity Grant (EOG) program, expanding the grant program from serving microbusinesses to include small businesses ($15,000 or $20,000 per grant) and nonprofits ($20,000 or $25,000 per grant). DEO launched Phase One in January 2023, initially accepting applications only from the County’s smallest and most vulnerable microbusinesses ($2,500 per grant).
Through EOG, DEO will award more than $54 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and California Office of Small Business Advocate funds across 6,800 grants in a continuous rollout to regions and organizations adversely affected by COVID-19. Since the launch of Phase One, more than 10,000 applications from microbusinesses have been submitted or are in progress.
DEO has partnered with Lendistry and the LA Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) to create a central application experience for the EOG program available at grants.lacounty.gov and to facilitate direct concierge support to applicants. Applicants can access live and multilingual webinars, instructional how-to-apply videos and demos, one-on-one application support, and in-person support events across the County to verify eligibility and submit successful applications.
“Our small businesses and nonprofits contribute to thriving, connected communities. It’s wonderful to be able to support small business owners impacted by COVID-19 through the Economic Recovery Grants, targeting the areas of our County and organizations where assistance is needed most. I hope businesses tap into this resource as a tool to stay open, hire locally, and innovate to make our communities stronger,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, Third District.
“We’re putting $50 million back into the community and directing much needed resources to small businesses that continue to struggle and face disproportionate impacts from the pandemic even as they continue to serve and uplift local residents,” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of the newly created Department of Economic Opportunity. “Through multi-lingual services in 10+ languages, one-on-one counseling, and a suite of online toolkits, we’re committed to ensuring that diverse small businesses and non-profits receive the necessary support to submit a successful grant application and unlock vital financial assistance. We’re grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their leadership in ensuring an equitable recovery and a future of resiliency for our small business community and the funding opportunities available through the American Rescue Plan and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.”
Three local microbusiness owners joined LA County leaders to accept ceremonious checks as the first three approved EOG awardees from Phase One. Saul Venegas of Venegas Technologies based in the City of Bell, Deborah Griffin of BoutD Transportation based in Gardena, and Sean Holman of Z Makers Studios based in Canoga Park are among the first to receive financial relief through the EOG program.
“So many of our region’s small businesses and nonprofits have yet to begin their recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic, and continue to face significant challenges,” said Pat Nye, Regional Director for the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center Network (LASBDC). “LA County’s Economic Opportunity Grants program is a true lifeline to small business in communities across our region and the LA SBDC is proud to partner with LA County on important resources like these.”
Applicants can visit grants.lacounty.gov to apply now, review eligibility, or access support. For general inquiries or application assistance, potential applicants can call the EOG Call Center at (833) 364-7268. Multi-lingual application assistance and support will be provided by SBDC and partners, and will include the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. Multilingual guides can be found here.
In addition to Economic Opportunity Grant program, small businesses can also connect with DEO’s Office of Small Business to access customized one-on-one business counseling, free legal assistance on topics including commercial tenancy, contract development, intellectual property and more, and specialized webinars, workshops, and trainings to help residents open and grow a business. Contact the Office of Small Business at 844-432-4900 or via email at OSB@opportunity.lacounty.gov.
Submitted by Lara Arsinian, DEO Communications