COVID-19 has devastated the small business communities across the nation, hitting hardest in larger states and dense metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco and FOUND/LA’s hometown of Los Angeles, with roughly 20 businesses per thousand temporarily or permanently closing their doors since March 1 (Yelp).
From local restaurants and retail storefronts to neighborhood salons and coffee shops, over the last year we have seen the pandemic take an economic and emotional toll on far too many small businesses who are now forced to close their doors. Business owners like MaryAnne (above) have had to give up their bricks and mortar locations and move their businesses completely online.
Across the country we know minority entrepreneurs and small businesses face the greatest challenge, as long-standing issues like inequitable access to access to capital have only been amplified by the pandemic. By the end of April, nearly half (41%) of all Black small businesses in the US had already shuttered, Latinx business owners fell by 32% and Asian business owners dropped by 26% (Yelp). Federal relief packages like the PPP loan often failed to reach those who needed it most, with only 2% going to minority-owned businesses (Forbes).
With local restrictions still in place and COVID-19 cases on the rise, we must do everything we can to prevent further closures. As Los Angeles remains at the top of the list for small business closures to date (Yelp), we see the heart and soul of our local community is in jeopardy.
This is why we are launching the FOUND/LA Small Business Recovery Fund in partnership with Pacific Community Ventures and TMC Community Capital, a grant program to help protect small businesses across Los Angeles County. We want to support local entrepreneurs like you that create the spaces that make our neighborhoods feel like home.
Application window is: January 11, 2021 – January 17, 2021 (@ 11:59 PM)
For more information and to apply, click HERE.