City, Chamber of Commerce Launch Grants Program to Support 1000 Businesses
130 Small Firms Closed Their Doors During Pandemic in Santa Monica
March 23, 2021
The City of Santa Monica has joined forces with the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce to launch a Small Business Recovery Grant Program to help local businesses stay afloat till the end of the pandemic.
"Our small local businesses are in crisis. After the challenges of the past twelve months, many are hanging on by a thread," said Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Laurel Rosen. "These businesses are the lifeblood of our community. They are our friends and neighbors, our community gathering spots, the sponsors of our schools and charities. It is so incredibly vital that we step up and support these businesses, so they can survive to the end of this pandemic, and be there for us on the other side."
City officials said 130 small businesses closed their doors in Santa Monica in the past year and a recent survey indicates that many more are facing closure in the months to come. Roughly 88% of Santa Monica's business community is comprised of small businesses, they added.
The SaMo Grant Program will provide urgent rescue funds to 1,000 small businesses with grants of up to $10,000, the city said in a press release. Grants could be used for payroll, retain employees, overhead costs and back rent during the required closures.
The City and Chamber have contributed $225,000 in seed funding to launch the program and currently raising donations through the We Are Santa Monica Fund.
"Our community's economic recovery depends on the vibrancy of the small businesses that we love and adore," said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. "As the City of Santa Monica and our Chamber of Commerce remain committed to helping these businesses weather their severe revenue losses, through the We Are Santa Monica Fund, we are drawing on the strength of our whole community to fill gaps and boost recovery."
Dilg added: "If you are a large business located in Santa Monica and the lives of your customers and workforce are made better by our full economic diversity, we hope you will join us in boosting our shared recovery."
The SaMo Small Business Recovery Grants are not yet available for businesses. Once sufficient funds are raised, a process will be initiated with an independent third-party to select eligible small businesses with grants of up to $10,000, city officials said. Updated information will be shared at http://www.santamonica.gov/economicrecovery.
To donate, visit http://www.calfund.org/wearesantamonica. Type SaMo Small Business Recovery Program in the Comment section, and select Business Recovery under Area of Support.