Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach announced the availability of grant funds through the Visual Improvement Grant program, which will support local businesses impacted by crime and vandalism on or after Oct. 1, 2022. This program aims to ease the burden of property crimes and vandalism for small businesses throughout the city, with property crimes as a whole increasing from 2021 to 2022. A total of $350,000 will be available, repurposed from Long Beach Recovery Act funds.
“Our small business owners have endured several crises over the last few years while keeping their shops running and their employees working,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “With this new grant opportunity, the City continues to provide support during this process of recovery.”
Awarded grants of $1,500 can be used for storefront repairs, boarding costs, insurance deductibles and business operating expenses.
As part of the City’s efforts following the proclamation of a local homelessness emergency, and discussed by the City Council at the Jan. 24 council meeting, staff will establish grant funds for local businesses that have been affected by impacts potentially related to the homelessness crisis. It should be noted that crime and vandalism can be committed by people who may be housed or unhoused and often exacerbated by mental health challenges and increases in societal stressors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic effects.
“Small businesses are a key component to a vibrant community” said Bo Martinez, Director of Economic Development. “This grant opportunity is one of several the City has provided over the last few years to help small businesses get through challenging times and start to thrive once again.”
Applications will open on Feb. 22, with more information and online application available at longbeach.gov/smallbizgrants. Applications will remain open until funding is exhausted. Grant awards will be issued on a rolling basis to eligible applicants. Visual Improvement Grant activities will be tracked through, reported on, and communicated via the Long Beach Recovery Act website. For more information, visit the Long Beach Recovery Act website at longbeach.gov/recovery/reporting-data/.
This program is made possible by the Long Beach Recovery Act (Recovery Act), a plan to fund economic and public health initiatives for residents, workers and businesses critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional information about the Long Beach Recovery Act is available at longbeach.gov/recovery.
For more information on the City’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Long Beach, people may visit longbeach.gov/homelessness and follow @lbhealthdept and @longbeachcity on social media and follow the hashtag #EveryoneHomeLB.