The Center by Lendistry announced the launch of the Los Angeles County Small Business Resiliency Program. This initiative is a collaborative business advising and education program designed to help minority-owned small businesses in Los Angeles County based in low- to moderate-income census tracts areas.
“Despite being a major hub for diverse small business growth and entrepreneurship, the legacy of institutionalized racism and discrimination still plagues the Los Angeles County small business economy. The Los Angeles County Small Business Resiliency Program brings together a coalition of business support organizations that will leverage each other’s collective strengths to reach underserved businesses and level the playing field for businesses owned by people of color, creating a small business ecosystem that works for everyone,” said Constance Anderson, president of The Center by Lendistry.
The program offers small businesses the following:
● On-demand webinars serve as a guided prerequisite curriculum for one-on-one advising, which helps business owners to begin thinking critically about how their businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they may need to pivot.
● One-on-one technical assistance (TA), helps businesses address their unique needs, including acquiring new capital and customers, understanding financial, change and risk management, adjusting business models, and operating under new safety regulations.
● Complementary recovery funds to compensate small business owners for the time they spend accessing support through the program. To receive a grant, businesses must first complete the on-demand courses and complete one-on-one business advising services.
Small business owners located in Los Angeles County who are interested in receiving support can click here to find more information about eligibility and program requirements.
The program is part of the Los Angeles County Initiative for Inclusive Small Business (IISB), a collective of economic development organizations, capital and service providers, and local business owners who are working to address the historical barriers that have limited access to entrepreneurial opportunities for business owners of color. IISB was formed following the release of the December 2020 report, Los Angeles County Small Business Ecosystem Assessment by Lendistry, The Center by Lendistry, Next Street and Community Allies, and with financial support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. The report highlighted a shocking discovery that local small business owners face a historic capital gap of $60 billion annually, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the resulting financial crisis.
The IISB coalition is led by Lendistry, The Center by Lendistry, Concerned Capital, Next Street, and Community Allies, and includes support and participation from over 40 local organizations across the county. Funding for complementary small business recovery grants has been provided by Banner Bank.
“As leaders of the community we have learned over the last year that none of us can succeed alone,” said Sarah Bowles, vice president of Global Philanthropy with JPMorgan Chase. “Many small businesses in Los Angeles still require technical assistance to navigate this next stage of the recovery. So as we emerge from this economic uncertainty, it is critical for us to provide resources that support minority small business owners who continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of the local, regional and national economy, and ensuring they have access to financing and financial assistance has been a priority throughout our 130-year history. Helping create this program is one more way we can bring about positive change while helping businesses thrive,” said Mark J. Grescovich, Banner Bank president and chief executive officer. “In addition to this program focused on LA County, Lendistry is assisting us in getting similar assistance to other small businesses in need throughout the California markets we serve.”
Participating business support organizations include: The Center by Lendistry, Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, CDC Small Business Finance, Inclusive Action for the City, Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network, and Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation.