LA County WDACS Awards $500,00 to 59 Businesses and Organizations, Saving 311 Jobs

Employer Assistance Grant Fund supporting local businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises impacted by COVID-19

LOS ANGELES, CA – On Thursday, April 9, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) launched the Los Angeles County Employer Assistance Grant Fund to provide grants up to $10,000 to local businesses to help support them through the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing funding provided by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Employment Development Department (EDD), and in partnership with the Robert’s Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), WDACS has completed awarding $500,000 to local businesses in this first-of-its-kind program in the State of California.

The Los Angeles County Employer Assistance Grant Fund was awarded to 59 entities ranging from local small businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 39 of the businesses receiving awards are minority-, women-, and/or Veteran-owned. A wide range of industries were represented, including Hospitality, Travel, Entertainment, Professional Services, Education, Tech, Legal, Environment, Healthcare and Non-profits. Businesses receiving awards were located throughout all five Supervisorial Districts in the County of Los Angeles.

Grant recipients received up to $10,000, allowing businesses to remain open, enabling employers to retain workers and to continue to provide valuable services to their local communities and to vulnerable populations. This investment in LA County’s small business community has averted an average of five layoffs per organization, for a total number of 311 jobs saved. As a result of the infusion of funding provided by the Employer Assistance Grant Fund, it is anticipated that total amount of revenue retained among all the awardees is nearly $1.5 million.

“The Employer Assistance Grant Program in LA County has helped our small businesses during this time of economic uncertainty,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Small business is the backbone of our economy and these grants helped in a concrete way, highlighting our County’s commitment to economic resiliency and recovery.”

“I fully recognize that our local businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises are the backbone of our regional economy,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Chair Pro Tem Hilda L. Solis. “This program helped 12 small businesses in the First District receive nearly $100,000 in grant funding, which avoided 58 potential layoffs. I will do all I can to ensure that our small businesses in underserved areas get the support they need and deserve to get through this crisis.”

“The support we can offer small businesses in this moment of crisis is as vital. Ninety percent of businesses in Los Angeles County are small businesses. They power our local and regional economies,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “From the mom and pop store, to the small dance studio — we have to continue to make sure when COVID-19 is gone, they remain.”

“Businesses have been hit very hard by the COVID19 crisis and I am glad that LA County has been able to make some quick grants through this fund,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “These grants are just one of many steps being taken to support small businesses, and these awards to 11 Third District businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits will avert approximately 55 layoffs.”

“We have been able to use these grants to keep some small businesses afloat and save local jobs, but there are so many more businesses that have been devastated by this pandemic and need help,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “There is a huge amount of work ahead of us, but the County is doing everything we can to help local businesses and workers during this crisis.” 

“COVID-19 has been especially hard on our small businesses,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “To help, WDACS has responded quickly by launching this innovative program to provide funding where it could do the most good. Our team is working tirelessly to bring other resources and supportive services to employers and workers who are struggling, and the Employer Assistance Grant Fund was just the start.”

“REDF is proud to partner with the County of Los Angeles to quickly distribute funds so that social enterprises and other small businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis strong,” said Carla Javits, President and CEO of REDF. “Social enterprise businesses – those that combine profit and purpose – are valuable assets to our communities addressing some of society’s greatest challenges. As the economy reopens, the jobs, supportive services, and training that employment social enterprises provide will be in even higher demand by people whose experiences with homelessness and the criminal justice system not only make it difficult to access employment, but have left them vulnerable to the pandemic.”

Businesses seeking resources and services to avoid closure or layoffs may contact WDACS by visiting workforce.lacounty.gov or emailing bizdev@wdacs.lacounty.gov.

Contact: 

Michael Kapp,
Director of Public Affairs 
(213)-706-8140,
mkapp@wdacs.lacounty.gov 


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