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L.A. controller unveils small business microloan tracker

Maps city’s COVID-19 support

OW Staff Writer | 7/9/2020, midnight

L.A. Controller Ron Galperin, in cooperation with the City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), has released an interactive map and microloan tracker displaying the microloans funded by the City of Los Angeles to help small businesses get the assistance they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Galperin’s tracker includes a map with the name, location and how much money each microloan recipient received, and also groups recipients by industry. The information in the tracker is updated through June and available at lacontroller.org/microloans.

“People should know how public dollars are being used to support small businesses in their communities,” said Galperin. “Unlike the Treasury Department in Washington, which is only releasing some information about the businesses receiving federal coronavirus relief funds, the City of Los Angeles is committed to full transparency. This tracker will ensure public accountability and better inform Angelenos about how the City is helping our local economy.”

Created by Mayor Eric Garcetti in March with an $11 million commitment and administered by the EWDD, the Small Business Emergency Microloan Program began distributing funds in early April to local businesses that aren’t eligible for federal CARES Act dollars. Since then, EWDD has distributed more than $3.4 million through 227 loans in amounts between $5,000 and $20,000. The interest rate is either zero percent for a term of six months to one year, or three percent to five percent for a term of up to five years.

“Small businesses have a critical need for resources to help them survive the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19,” said EWDD General Manager Carolyn M. Hull. “EWDD is working tirelessly to connect smaller companies to funding that will assist them during this difficult time.”

Information available on Galperin’s microloan tracker includes:

Top industries with City-funded microloans:

• Hospitality: 81 businesses

• Retail: 33 businesses

• Entertainment: 25 businesses

City Council Districts with the most microloan recipients:

• Council District 14 — which includes downtown — has 44 microloan recipients, totalling $588,000 of assistance

• Council District 5 has 24 microloan recipients, totaling $302,000 of assistance

• Council District 13 has 21 microloan recipients, totaling $320,000 of assistance

Explore the Small Business Microloan Program tracker at lacontroller.org/microloans or https://lacontroller.org/data-stories-and-maps/microloans/. The data on it will be updated as the program continues.

Find out more and apply for the Small Business Emergency Microloan Program on EWDD’s website: https://ewddlacity.com/index.php/microloan-program

As L.A. Controller, Galperin seeks to use technology to better connect people with useful public information. He recently released a map estimating job losses in each city neighborhood, a statewide food map of more than 1,800 food banks, pantries and emergency distribution locations, and a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource Hub for the City of Los Angeles.

 View all of Galperin’s data stories and resource maps: lacontroller.org/resourcemaps.

 Follow L.A. Controller Ron Galperin at @LAController on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.