Small Los Angeles County businesses in the personal care and retail sector can apply for $10,000 grants starting April 5, county officials announced March 31. The L.A. Regional COVID Fund distributed nearly $100 million in grants last year to small businesses and non-profits, and this new round of funding, called the Keep Our Shops on the Block Grant, will dedicate $4.7 million to personal care and retail businesses.

Eligible businesses include hair and beauty salons, nail salons, estheticians, skincare, barbershops, dry cleaners, bakeries, automotive stores and more. They must have an open storefront in L.A. County, excluding the city of Los Angeles, and make less than $1 million in revenue per year, officials said. They also must show proof of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Main streets across L.A. County have experienced a sharp decline in pedestrian traffic throughout the pandemic,” said Rafael Carbajal, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “We hope to revive these corridors by supporting retail and personal care sectors.”

The county chose the personal care and retail sector for the grant because those businesses were among the most impacted by the pandemic, as restrictions forced closures for much of 2020, officials said. 

“While some cities have launched funds dedicated to personal care and retail businesses, this program marks the first county-wide effort to distribute a grant dedicated to brick-and-mortar businesses in these sectors,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles, which serves as the program’s administrator.

Business owners can apply for the grant at Applications are open April 5 through April 11 and April 26 through May 2.