Garcetti says denied business applications for micro loans to be reassessed

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today he has instructed the Economic and Workforce Development Department to reassess previously denied applications from Los Angeles businesses for the city’s $11 million micro loan economic relief program.

Garcetti said he made the instruction to make it easier for companies to receive funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the applications will be assessed based on new eligibility standards, so that money can get to companies more quickly.

“We will survive this crisis, and my administration will do everything possible to help businesses start getting back on their feet while we fight to save lives and rebuild the economy,” Garcetti said. “These funds can make a real difference and I want them to get out more quickly to more businesses.”

The mayor joined Caveman Vintage Music store owner Eric Stollsteimer, which has reopened under limited operations with new health and safety protocols, to discuss efforts to assist and protect businesses, workers and customers.

“The micro loan has eased the temporary pain that came from my storefront being closed during the months of March, April and May,” Stollsteimer said. “We are extremely happy now to be open for curbside pickup, allowing us to continue to provide music and musical instruments to the Los Angeles music community that we love so much.”

Garcetti in a Facebook video said the music store is one of 149 that will receive micro loans, with “hundreds more to come.” Caveman Vintage Music received $20,000 through the program.

“Additionally, I’ve expanded the team that is charged with processing these (applications) so they will be processed even more quickly, and I’m working with the City Council to see whether we can infuse more dollars into that $11 million,” the mayor said.

Garcetti last week modified the Safe at Home emergency order to allow retail businesses to resume limited operations with delivery and curbside service.

Detailed information about the program can be found at lamayor.org/loan.

According to the micro loan program website, there are several options for loans between $5,000 and $20,000 with interest rates of 0% for a term of up to 18 months with repayment deferred for up to six months; 3% for a term of up to five years with repayment deferred for up to 12 months (for profit businesses); and 2% for a term of up to five years with repayment deferred for up to 12 months (for tax-exempt businesses).

There are no application fees nor penalties to be assessed for repayment.

The mayor on Twitter said every business that is reopening for curbside pickup should complete and then post the city’s business toolkit, which includes the county’s physical distancing checklist and protocols. Those documents can be found at coronavirus.LACity.org/Business.

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