A grant program created to assist small businesses impacted by Southland light-rail construction topped the $1 million mark last week as officials handed a $50,000 check to the owner of a Crenshaw Boulevard salon. Metro’s Business Interruption Fund has doled out more than 60 grants of varying amounts to “mom-and-pop” businesses, most of them located along the path of the 8.5-mile, $2.06 billion Crenshaw/LAX light rail line that will connect the Expo and Green lines.
“Local businesses are the lifeline of a community,” county Supervisor and Metro board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “Since construction began on the Crenshaw/LAX line, our small businesses have been asked to ensure dust, noise and significant disruption to their daily operations. This million-dollar milestone represents a significant and well-deserved investment in the Crenshaw Corridor.
“It demonstrates Metro’s commitment to helping local small businesses not only survive, but be ready to thrive when the Crenshaw line reopens.”
Ridley-Thomas was among those on hand to present a roughly $50,000 check to The New Millennium Beauty & Barber Shop Salon, 4306 Crenshaw Blvd. Salon owner Desentrie Allen called the grant “a true blessing.”
Although the bulk of the BIF grants awarded so far have been for Crenshaw-area businesses, funding is also available for businesses that will be impacted upcoming heavy construction on the Regional Connector project in
Little Tokyo and for Mid-City and Westside businesses near the extension of the Purple Line subway. Qualifying businesses must have been in continuous operation for at least two years with 25 or fewer employees. They also must demonstrate a loss of revenue directly attributable to Metro construction.