LOS ANGELES — Small businesses and nonprofits across Los Angeles County can begin applying for grants from the LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

Round 5 applications for the small business grant program will open Monday and continue through Oct. 9. The $100 million recovery fund can award grants ranging between $5,000 and $25,000, to those that qualify.

To ensure this financial aid reaches those most in need, the City and County of Los Angeles selected the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC LA), an expert nonprofit and community development financial institution, to administer the program.

“Our small businesses and nonprofits are being stretched extremely thin right now, with some on the brink of collapse because of the pandemic,” Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of LISC LA said.

LISC LA is working to ensure the most vulnerable in the community are supported by the fund, by utilizing an equity-based approach.

“It’s, unfortunately, no surprise that many of the businesses unable to access the financial support they need are owned by entrepreneurs of color who face cultural, technical and/or other barriers to entry,” Thrash-Ntuk said. “The COVID Fund is working to bridge that gap and is a step in the right direction when it comes to equity in grant-making.”

Applicants who meet the following criteria are weighted more heavily in the system: Veteran-owned small businesses, city and county districts that have a higher unemployment rate, lower education rate, lower median household income and lower jobs-to-population rate.

LISC LA has also deployed a bilingual paid digital advertising and grassroots outreach program designed to reach under-served communities who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

Grant winners will continue to be chosen through a randomized application system and all who are eligible are encouraged to apply.

LISCA LA has deployed more than $3.2 million in grants to about 300 small businesses, nonprofits and micro-entrepreneurs since the Fund launched on July 6.

“The LISC LA team is proud to be doing what we do best, providing the capital and resources to those who need it most,” Thrash-Ntuk said.

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