Westside Bulletin: News from the Mayor’s Rep – 4.9.2021

Here are some of the latest updates on important news for our community. 

Included in this week’s Westside Bulletin: Mayor Garcetti’s State of the City Address, COVID-19 Updates, FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, HCIDLA Emergency Renters Assistance Program Update, HCIDLA Programs for First-Time Homebuyers, LADWP Nonprofit Grant Opportunities, and Business Relief

STATE OF THE CITY

Please join Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 5:15 p.m. for the virtual 2021 State of the City Address. You can watch the live broadcast on Channel 35 and @MayorofLA on Twitter and Facebook

COVID-19 UPDATES

Here are the facts you need to know:

  • ELIGIBLE NOW: Vaccinations are now open to all California residents 50 years or older.
  • ALSO ELIGIBLEResidents between 16 and 64 years old who have certain disabilities or severe underlying medical conditions are also eligible. L.A. County has opened vaccinations to janitorial and custodial workers and public transit workers and dedicated public works employees who are responding to emergencies. Vaccinations remain open for those who were already eligible: teachers and workers in education and childcare, restaurant workers, food and agriculture, and emergency services on the eligibility list, residents 65 and older, healthcare workers, certain essential frontline workers, and residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities.
  • UP NEXT: Beginning April 15th, LA County residents aged 16+ will be eligiblePlease note: The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently authorized for teens ages 16 and over.The Moderna and Janssen Johnson& Johnson vaccines have been authorized in individuals 18 years of age and older. 
  • ‘MOVE’ VACCINE EQUITY PROGRAM: Our MOVE initiative is deploying mobile vaccination clinics to the most vulnerable parts of Los Angeles. We’ve partnered with trusted community organizations to administer over 64,431 shots –– about 90 percent of which have gone to people of color. 
  • EXPRESS LANE: An express lane at Dodger Stadium is serving customers of Access Services, the agency that provides transportation to Angelenos with disabilities. Access riders can book their appointment (pending availability) as well as a round-trip ride to Dodger Stadium by calling (626) 532-1616.
  • BY THE NUMBERS: The City of Los Angeles has administered over 901,731  vaccine doses at our City-run vaccination sites and mobile clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and fire stations.
  • VACCINATION SITES: More than 540 locations are currently vaccinating people in L.A. County. As more doses become available in the coming months, more sites and providers will administer shots. When your turn arrives, you can make an appointment and bring your ID to the site. If you are 65 or older, have a disability, or do not have access to the internet and need assistance making your vaccination appointment, you can contact the County’s Call Center –– open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. –– at (833) 540-0473. You can also talk with your doctor about getting vaccinated.
  • NOTIFY LA: The City will occasionally send targeted text updates about new appointment availability to communities with high cases of COVID-19. To receive text updates, sign up for Notify LA
  • STAY INFORMED: It can be challenging to keep up with ever-changing vaccine news. Get key information by signing up for email updates from the L.A. County Department of Public Health or getting automatically notified when you become eligible for the vaccine. Tell your friends and family to sign up for this VaxFacts newsletter or follow us at @MayorOfLA on Twitter. You can check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more. 

FEMA COVID-19 FUNERAL ASSISTANCE

FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through our dedicated call center. More information will be available on this page soon.

HOUSING + COMMUNITY INVESTMENT DEPARTMENT UPDATES

2021 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the State of California and the federal government, has created a new emergency rental assistance program to assist residential renters who have been unable to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a household must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling and meet the following requirements:

  1. Residents of the City of Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status. To verify you live in the City of Los Angeles go to: neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org;
  2. One or more individuals within the household have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship dues, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  3. The household income is at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI), prioritizing those under 30% AMI 
Family Size
Income Level1 Person2 Persons3 Persons4 Persons5 Persons6 Persons7 Persons8 Persons
Extremely Low (30%)$23,700$27,050$30,450$33,800$36,550$39,250$41,950$44,650
Very Low (50%)$39,450$45,050$50,700$56,300$60,850$65,350$69,850$74,350

Eligible applicants will be chosen through a random selection process to participate in the program. The program is required to give priority to paying past-due, unpaid rent. If selected, the program can pay 80% of a tenant’s past-due rent for the period of April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, but only if the landlord agrees to waive the remaining 20%.

If a landlord does not agree to these terms, the program can pay 25 percent of the tenant’s past-due, unpaid rent, as well as up to 25 percent of the tenant’s upcoming future rent, for 3 months. These rules are in alignment with regulations established by Senate Bill 91.

Applications for landlords and tenants open on Tuesday, March 30th, at 8am and will remain open until April 30, 2021, 11:59pm. For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit hcidla.lacity.org.

HCIDLA Programs to Assist First-Time Homebuyers

The Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) is offering programs to assist first-time, low-and-moderate-income homebuyers purchasing homes in the City of Los Angeles with down payment, closing costs, and acquisition financing. For more information, click here.

LADWP COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP GRANTS

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is now receiving applications from local non-profit organizations for the 8th Round of Phase II of its Community Partnership Grants.  The focus of these grants is on hard-to-reach residential and commercial customers in traditionally underserved communities, and the grants will fund efforts to help these customers improve their energy and water efficiency while also serving to reduce their utility bills. 

The grant program offers up to 18 grants totaling $1,030,000 according to the following allocations:

  • eight to twelve grants in varying amounts totaling $700,000 for Under-Represented Program Areas: Energy Efficiency & Water Conservation;
  • two $90,000 grants for Water Conservation;
  • two to three grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 for Water Quality;
  • and one $50,000 grant for Community Solar.

LADWP will evaluate applicants based on past performance with behavior-impacting programs and how their proposals address local needs, cost-effectiveness, and tracking methods. The deadline for submitting the application is Friday, April 16, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. and must be sent to nonprofitgrants@ladwp.com. The complete announcement and application can be found here.

 

BUSINESS RELIEF

COVID-19 Personal Care & Retail Recovery Grant

In 2020, LISC LA and other public and private partners created a REGIONAL RECOVERY FUND and deployed $100MM to ~7,500 entities. In 2021, the County of LA, in partnership with LISC LA, is deploying new rounds under the Fund: KEEP OUR SHOPS ON THE BLOCK: PERSONAL CARE AND RETAIL RECOVERY GRANT. $10,000 grants to personal care and retail businesses based in the County of Los Angeles, excluding the City of LA. 470 grants will be deployed. Apply today! Applications are open until Sunday, April 11th at 11:59PM and more information is available here.

Small Business Stabilization Loan Program

Los Angeles County has launched the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program designed to provide eligible businesses with a competitive interest rate for loans ranging from $50,000 to $3 million.. The Program offers technical assistance from partners who offer complementary online webinars, one-on-one financial consultations, application assistance, and an evaluation of a business’ readiness to submit an LACDA loan application. For more information on the requirements to apply for the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program, please visit BizStabilization.lacda.orgThe Small Business Stabilization Loan Program will accept applications through April 16, 2021, or until $20 million in funding requests is received, whichever occurs first. Technical assistance is available in various languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), and Korean. 

FEDERAL UPDATES

PPP Extended:

President Joe Biden signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 into law on March 30, extending the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, 2021, and providing an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant:

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Application opened Thursday, April 8, 2021. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Please click here for more information, and to apply.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives

Other requirements of note:

  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.

Federal Taxes:

The IRS has now delayed this year’s Tax Day to May 17, 2021. However, this date change does not apply to estimated tax payments due on April 15, 2021; small businesses and individuals responsible for quarterly estimated tax payments must still make those payments by April 15.

New and updated, is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) a refundable, advanceable tax credit on employee wages that is available 2020 and all of 2021. For 2020, it offers a total maximum credit $5,000 per employee. Looking ahead to 2021, the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recently extended the period of eligibility for the ERTC to include all of 2021, versus a previous Q1 and Q2 limit. Since savings are up to $7,000 per employee per quarter in 2021, that’s a total maximum savings of $28,000 per employee in 2021.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) tax credit for paid sick leave and family leave has also been extended by ARPA. The program originally expired at the end of March but now lasts until the end of September 2021. The maximum size of this tax credit for family leave is now $12,000 per employee.

Free PPE for Small Businesses

The PPE Unite™ program is a joint effort to give small business owners and their employees access to much-needed personal protective gear. This public and private partnership program creates access to PPE, promotes PPE use, and provides additional resources for businesses. We need to work together to safely reopen our local economy for the health of our businesses and the general public. Get your 30 day supply of free Personal Protective Equipment to keep your business compliant and employees safe. Sign up now to get PPE while supplies last.

 

L.A. Optimized

LA Optimized provides individualized tech support to help small businesses adapt to the digital marketplace. The program helps businesses create or optimize websites, increase online sales, create business listings, and access branding and marketing help.

Open For Business

Open For Business is designed to support local restaurants and stimulate economic activity in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Open For Business provides Los Angeles restaurants commission-free digital ordering tools to expand contactless options for customers, as well as access to an over $1 million marketing budget to incentivize customers to order.

BusinessSource Centers

Technical assistance for COVID-19-related business loans and grants. Click here for more information.

RESOURCES

RENTER PROTECTIONS

HCIDLA: COVID-19 Renter Protections

FREE LEGAL SERVICES

INFO: LA Represents

COVID-19 Testing

SIGN UP: Free COVID-19 Testing

HOMELESS SERVICES

GET HELP: 

PARKING CITATION ASSISTANCE

LADOT: Payment Relief Options

Please forward this along to anyone who may find it useful. As always, if you have questions about anything mentioned in this email––or if the Mayor’s Office can help you with something else––please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Best, 

Brad 

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