City of Long Beach Public Information Office 411 W. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 090820
CARES Act Funding now Available to Long Beach Nonprofits and Businesses
City Provides Web Page, Guidelines for the Distribution of Funds to Help Organizations Affected by COVID-19
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
RESIDENTS: Call 562.570.INFO
BUSINESSES: Call 562.570.4BIZ
Long Beach, CA - Today, the City of Long Beach announced a comprehensive, equity-based spending plan that supports important community activities and programs, while minimizing the City’s budget shortfall caused by COVID-19. The $40.28 million spending plan, which was approved unanimously by Long Beach City Council on July 14, is funded by Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.
“Sustaining small businesses and community groups through this pandemic is a critical part of our response to COVID-19,” says Mayor Robert Garcia. “This pandemic has devastated small businesses and caused record high unemployment nationwide. It will take federal funding like CARES and strong leadership to guide us through a recovery that lies in our future.”
The City Council allocated funds for the following program areas:
City COVID-19 Response: $19,130,494
Community Support: $14,400,000
Business Recovery and Resiliency: $6,750,000
While the City’s COVID-19 emergency response costs are ongoing, the community support and business recovery and resiliency activities require the development of new programs or an expansion of existing efforts. The City Manager’s Office has coordinated with specific departments to create these programs and support efficient service delivery according to City Council direction and in compliance with local, state and federal regulations and timelines for the CARES Act funds.
An equity lens will be used in the development and implementation of each program, to address the needs of the most adversely impacted community members. Programs must prioritize equity and serve populations that are hardest hit by COVID-19, including older adults, people with underlying health conditions, people experiencing homelessness or living in overcrowded housing and Black, Latinx and Cambodian residents. Departments will focus on impacted areas in Long Beach using mapping resources such as the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases, CDBG-eligible areas, housing burden and EnviroScreen.
New Programs The following programs have been developed and are approved to begin the outreach and application phase. Information will be available via the CARES Act website and the Economic Development Department will send email notices to its extensive business contact list. The City also will provide pop-up outreach to assist businesses with information and assistance with applications.
Small Business Recovery and Technology Grants ($4,100,000)
Supports businesses through grants for working capital, up to $5,000 each.
Supports businesses with COVID-19 safety protocols through and touchless technology costs such as contactless payment systems, up to $2,000 each.
Priority will be given to:
Businesses that have laid off or furloughed employees.
Small business owners.
Diverse small businesses located in low-to-moderate income areas.
Businesses that have operated at a very limited capacity due to local Health Orders.Funds business associations that provide support to local businesses.
Provide direct grants to the Business Improvement District (BID) associations in Long Beach to support service delivery for businesses to cope with the impacts of COVID-19.
Enables BIDs to maintain service levels for core programming, business assistance and marketing and promotions.
Small Business Education ($100,000)
Provides educational materials to businesses in multilingual formats to communities of color, immigrant-owned businesses, high-contact businesses, commercial corridors not represented by BIDs and areas that have low Internet connectivity.
Digital Inclusion ($1,000,000)
Supplements the City’s Digital Inclusion Initiative, focusing on ensuring everyone in Long Beach has equitable access to and use of digital literacy training, the Internet, technology devices and other resources.
Contract with community-based organizations and partners to: staff the Digital Inclusion Resources Hotline, provide free Chromebooks and hotspots, host pop-up outreach and technical assistance, develop multilingual digital inclusion resources and procure portable public Wi-Fi infrastructure.
Economic Equity Study ($200,000)
Supports a series of action-oriented reports in partnership with California State University, Long Beach, that establish the baseline economic, social and demographic information needed to inform City policies related to economic recovery.
Studies will commence in September and will include economic trend analysis, economic impact analysis, ethnographic study, small business survey and community engagement.
Arts Organization Grants ($1,500,000)
Provides working capital grants to the leading arts organizations in Long Beach to sustain these industry sectors and facility recovery in the creative economy.
Facilitate arts education and programming, strengthen the arts workforce and support local artists.
$200,000 to provide relief grants to nonprofits that are experiencing hardship during COVID-19
$800,000 to fund COVID-19 support services that nonprofits provide to the community.
Economic Development will administer this relief fund and the Health Department will administer funding for the nonprofit service delivery program component.
Programs Underway Several CARES ACT programs are currently active, providing direct community services to address COVID-19 impacts using existing City programs and contracts. These programs have been enhanced or expanded using CARES Act funding and are fully compliant with all State and federal regulations and City protocols.
Small Business and Nonprofit Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Distribution ($750,000)
Supports the purchase and distribution of PPE to Long Beach business owners, nonprofits and child care organizations.
Focuses on education and outreach to Census Tracts that have been impacted by COVID-19.
To date, more than 1,050 businesses have requested PPE, providing resources to almost 5,750 workers.
Approximately 15,000 businesses and nonprofit organizations have storefronts and employees in Long Beach that require PPE.
Homeless Sheltering ($2,000,000)
Helps fund congregate shelters for people experiencing homelessness and at risk of COVID-19, including the navigation center and year-round shelter.
These costs are not eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Funds will also be used to support the local match requirement for Project Homekey, the State’s hotel/motel acquisition program.
Youth Leadership and Ambassador Program ($1,000,000)
Offers youth leadership development opportunities to support COVID-19 outreach and education.
The City trains youth workers from low- to moderate-income communities to work at parks, open space locations and beaches.
This program is already showing results at our most challenging parks and beaches.
Open Streets ($300,000)
Temporarily transforms public areas into safe spaces for physically-distanced activity, safer access to public transit and stronger economic recovery.
To date, 110 parklets have been installed throughout the City and six street closures are in effect including Pine Avenue between 1st Street and 3rd Street.
More than 70 neighborhood locations are currently being evaluated for this program.
The program began on May 29, 2020, and will end on October 31, 2020, unless extended through City Council action.
Business Call Center ($150,000)
Supports the City’s Business Hotline and Call Center, which has answered almost 2,000 calls over four months and continues to average approximately 25 calls per day.
Businesses can request information about COVID-19 resources at 562-570-4BIZ (4249), weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Economic Development Department website also provides information for business and worker resources.
Economic Inclusion Coordinator ($150,000)
Funds Economic Inclusion Coordinator, responsible for managing the City’s Economic and Digital Inclusion Initiatives.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this position has conducted outreach regarding COVID-19 resources and ConnectedLB, a centralized online resource that connects residents to low-cost Internet services, computers and digital literacy training.
Programs in Development The following programs provide a variety of community needs and services to COVID-impacted communities and residents. These services are generally coordinated by the Health and Human Services Department under contract with professional service providers, community-based organizations and nonprofits with experience providing services within the impacted communities.
The programs below have been developed and will come online within a two-to three-week period, once vendors are procured for these services.
Housing Condition Improvements ($500,000)
Adapts aspects of the existing HUD-funded Healthy Homes Program to remediate housing conditions that exacerbate COVID-19.
Supports education and outreach, the distribution of health incentives and cleaning kits and engineered solutions (repairs/ maintenance) to home-based hazards.
Poor housing conditions, including low air ventilation, water intrusion, mold and old carpeting, contribute to the spread and severity of COVID-19.
Basic Needs Warm Line ($400,000)
Expands support model of COVID-19 community hotline (562.570.INFO) for responding to calls and helping access services such as food, housing, insurance, cooling supports and medical supplies.
Food Insecurity and Meals ($3,000,000)
Leverages CARES Act funding to redesign and expand meal distribution and delivery programs for those in need.
In partnership with the State and FEMA, the City currently operates the Great Plates Delivered program, a free meal delivery service for eligible older adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Black Health Equity ($1,000,000)
Provides gap healthcare services and outreach to mitigate the risk, transmission and spread of COVID-19 among Black residents.
Services will be provided by contracted medical providers and community partners.
Black residents (13% of Long Beach’s population) suffer disproportionately from COVID-19, accounting for 20% of deaths from COVID-19.
Older Adult Supports ($500,000)
Ensures that older adults have the support needed to isolate safely in their homes and access essential services.
COVID-19 has a uniquely devastating impact on the older adult population in Long Beach.
As of July 25, 2020, adults aged 60 and older represented 18% of the positive cases of COVID-19 and 92% of the fatalities, despite making up only 11% of the total population.
Mental Health and Domestic Violence Prevention ($500,000)
Supports a taskforce of community-based mental health agencies to improve access to mental health treatment, awareness of mental health diagnosis and treatment and help for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Calls to the Long Beach Police Department to respond to violence in the home has increased by 15% during the pandemic.
Public Health Case Management Support ($500,000)
Streamlines intake and quickly determines eligibility for social-, economic- and health-related services.
Allows for more effective coordination of referrals to critically needed care and supports.
Early Childhood Support ($1,000,000)
Supports the purchase and delivery of developmental and emergency supplies, expansion of early childhood education spaces to accommodate physical distancing requirements and grants for providers and childcare subsidies.
Long Beach is home to more than 32,000 children under the age of 5, 35% of whom are living in poverty.
Nonprofit Relief for Support Services ($785,000)
Supplements a program in Economic Development that provides direct relief grants to nonprofits.
Assists nonprofits by providing grants for them to design and implement engagement strategies that provide direct access to hard-to-reach communities in Long Beach for various CARES Act programs.
Like small businesses, nonprofits have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These organizations play a crucial role in supporting affected communities and protecting public health and community well-being.
Youth Programming ($500,0000)
Offers innovative youth programming and resources during COVID-19.
Creates community learning hubs that K-8 students can access to participate in daily online instruction provided by Long Beach Unified School District and after-school recreational activities.
Offers mobile recreation opportunities in park-poor neighborhoods that have little to no options for exercise, enrichment activity and peer connection.
City Staff will proceed with implementation using the above guidelines, unless otherwise directed by City Council. People may apply online at the City’s CARES Act website beginning today, September 8, but funding distribution decisions will occur after September 15, to allow for further City Council input if necessary.