LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced a program that will provide small business owners with counseling, education, and debt repayment assistance to help with their economic recovery from the pandemic.
“Small businesses account for nearly half the jobs in our City and their recovery is essential to our economy,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We recognize that small businesses are the foundation of our communities and are committed to helping them get back on their feet.”
Free counseling will be provided to small businesses 24/7 through a collaboration between the City of Los Angeles’ Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) and Money Management International (MMI). The program will offer guidance, resources, and assistance to small business owners to help them stabilize cash flow, decrease debt, improve credit standing, and reach their financial goals.
“Our counselors understand the unique financial challenges faced by small business owners and can help show them how to balance their household budget, improve their credit profile, and connect to vetted resources,” Jim Triggs, President and CEO of MMI. “Nonprofit financial counseling has been proven to increase financial wellness and reduce debt, so we hope local small business owners will take full advantage of this new relationship and engage with our experts.”
The city’s small businesses have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, with women- and minority-owned businesses suffering the biggest losses. At the same time, Black small business owners received significantly less federal financial support, about $19,000 in PPP loans as compared to White business owners who received $47,000 on average. Closing that structural gap in available financial relief is one of the new program’s primary goals.
"Small businesses endured extraordinary financial hardships during the pandemic, including negative impacts to their credit and increasing their debt. The Office of Mayor Garcetti and the City of LA’s Economic and Workforce Development Department’s collaboration with Money Management International, supports local mom-and-pop shops by offering small businesses the tools to establish credit and debt management best practices. Learning these skills helps small businesses strengthen their finances and broaden their access to capital, ultimately boosting the City’s economic recovery efforts and the restoration of LA’s vibrant small business community," said EWDD General Manager Carolyn Hull.
This is the latest in the Mayor's efforts to lift small businesses up during the pandemic. In the past year, the City of Los Angeles launched the Small Business Microloan Program, the LA Recovery Fund, and small business grants, distributing over $56 million in grants and loans to businesses and microentrepreneurs. This Fall, the City will provide $37 million in Comeback Checks and Rental Assistance to further aid in the economic recovery of L.A.’s small businesses.
For more information, please visit EWDD or call 888-645-2227.