$390,000 distributed in Santa Monica to assist ongoing recovery efforts

By Kamala Kirk

Recently, 78 small businesses in Santa Monica received $5,000 grants (totaling $390,000) from 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.

“This has been such an unprecedented and challenging 18 months for our businesses,” said Jennifer Taylor, the 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.”

She said 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).

“As cities plan and begin to implement their COVID-19 economic recovery strategies, it is imperative that they do it equitable 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. “LISA 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.”

A 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; and 36% of grantees are located in the 90405 ZIP code.

“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,” said Laurel Rosen, president/CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.”

We Are Santa Monica Fund calfund.org/wearesantamonica