Legal-name: Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Previous-name: LISC LA
Address: 500 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 2300
City: Los Angeles
Officer: Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director, LISC Los Angeles
ContactName: Tunua Thrash-Ntuk
Title: Executive Director
GrantPurpose: LISC LA has created a relief fund to support food-based small businesses located in food deserts and low-income communities.
Periodoftime: April 2020- June 2020
Audienceserved: Small Business
Demoofaudience: Diverse small business owners in low-income communities
District: Primarily West, Central and North Long Beach (1,6, 7, 8, 9)
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : LISC LA has been working both internally and externally to create tailored programs, policies, and resources to support our community development partners across LA County. LISC LA has nearly $45M in outstanding loans in our portfolio supporting affordable housing, economic development projects and small businesses. We are connecting immediately with and assessing the needs of our clients to ensure that they have the capital flexibility and capacity expertise to deliver on the projects and business activities we have funded them to do.
LISC LA is working with a network of organizations that continue to provide wrap around services, employment support and service access support. We are assisting these organizations with access to resources to outfit their teams for remote access working, connecting them with employers that are hiring, and providing low-cost capital to bridge new municipal contracts. We will continue assess the needs of our nonprofit partners on an ongoing basis.
We have also developed a COVID-19 Economic Development/Small Business Resource Response Toolkit that we will be sharing with our partners and city leaders across the region in the next few weeks via a series of webinars.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? LISC LA is developing a series of capital products that respond to the unique lending needs of today’s marketplace. Most relevant to this request includes the launch of a small business relief fund that will offer 0%, no fee loans via the Kiva crowdfunding platform to food-based small businesses located in food deserts and disadvantaged communities throughout the City of Long Beach. LISC LA already has a successful track record with our Kiva Long Beach Program. Over the past 18 months, we have deployed $202,000 to 24 Long Beach businesses in partnership with the City of Long Beach’s Economic Development Department and 13 business service organizations.
In response to the COVID crisis and the effect that it has had on food-based businesses across the Country, we believe it is critical to leverage the Kiva program to support those small and diverse businesses that are providing low-income neighborhoods with access to both fresh/healthy food, and prepared meals. With the “Shelter In Place” mandate from the State, it becomes particularly important that these mom and pop businesses can remain open and adapt their services to comply with safety regulations for their workers and customers in neighborhoods that lack grocery stores and/or abundant restaurant options.
These funds will provide direct $1 for $1 matching support- up to $5,000- to these food providers across the City through our Kiva Accelerator Fund. As part of the program, we will also be referring all businesses to local technical assistance providers that can help businesses adapt some of their practices in order to accept non-cash payment, create online offerings, expand or establish safe delivery/pick-up options, and buy necessary safety and take-out supplies, if needed.
3. What organization and or individuals will you assist? : The program will be serving diverse small businesses in low income neighborhoods throughout Long Beach. We are targeting those that are not likely to qualify for the emergency SBA loans and other municipal emergency funds.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount? : We have not received any other disaster recovery funds for this effort specifically in Long Beach, but will be re-allocating our existing funds totaling, $175,000 for these purposes. Those funds were provided by City National Bank, Farmers and Merchants Banks, Bank of the West, and First Bank.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: We have applied to Wells Fargo to support direct grants to small businesses throughout LA County and in Orange County.