September 21, 2021 12:47 PM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – This month, 78 Santa Monica small businesses received $5,000 grants from generous community members, business leaders and nonprofits that donated to the City of Santa Monica’s We Are Santa Monica Fund and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Foundation. 475 local businesses applied, and 78 grantees were chosen through an online, randomized application system.
The SaMo Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to support brick-and-mortar businesses based in Santa Monica with annual revenues below $2 million. Applicants and grantees were located across the City, and program funds were distributed and managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC LA) on the City’s behalf. A wide variety of businesses received a SaMo Small Business Recovery Grant, with funding distributed across all neighborhoods to a range of industries. Of the 78 businesses that received a grant:
• 50% are minority-owned or led by people of color
• 51% are from Low- or Moderate-Income (LMI) Census tracts
• 50% are women-owned or led
• 44% of grantees reported annual revenues below $250,000
• 76% of funding went to services or retail industries
• 36% of grantees are located in the zip code 90405
“This has been such an unprecedented and challenging 18 months for our businesses,” said Jennifer Taylor, City of Santa Monica’s Economic Development Manager. “We know many business owners are still struggling with outstanding bills and expenses, and we hope these grants can provide extra support to our small business community.”
“As cities plan and begin to implement their COVID-19 economic recovery strategies, it is imperative that they do it equitably to ensure that small businesses owned and led by women and people of color aren't left behind – and the City of Santa Monica is doing just that,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director of LISC LA. “LISC LA is proud to be able to partner with the City of Santa Monica on these recovery efforts, and we hope that with additional funding, we can continue to help the city rebuild and distribute this economic relief across the city."
“We are proud to support our small business community and thank our generous donors to the Santa Monica Chamber Foundation and We Are Santa Monica Fund for their contribution to such a tangible relief effort,” says Laurel Rosen, President/CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.
Santa Monica businesses interested in additional grant programs are urged to apply for the newly announced $1.5 billion in state funding as part of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. State grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 are available for eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Businesses must apply through the State’s funding portal for this entirely separate grant opportunity. For more information and to apply by September 30, visit www.CAReliefGrant.com.
Community needs across Santa Monica continue to surface, and the City’s We Are Santa Monica Fund provides a critical and timely vehicle for community support. Specifically, the Fund focuses on COVID-19 Relief for Santa Monica Residents, Business Recovery, the Black Agenda in Santa Monica, and the Emergency Food Pantry at Virginia Avenue Park. To donate to the We Are Santa Monica Fund, visit www.calfund.org/wearesantamonica. For more information on the City’s Economic Recovery efforts, visit www.santamonica.gov/economicrecovery.
Public Information Officer