Up to 30 grants will provide Downtown businesses with relief during the public health crisis. 

Long Beach, CA (March 27, 2020) – The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) and Farmers & Merchants (F&M) Bank are partnering to provide up to 30 micro-grants of $1,000 each to Downtown businesses impacted by the ongoing public health crisis, DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian and F&M President W. Henry Walker announced today. 

“In these uncertain times, we hope the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will provide some relief to Downtown businesses in need and encourage them to access available resources,” said Walker. “Downtown Long Beach has been our home for more than 100 years, and we remain a committed community partner with its business community, its residents, and the DLBA.” 

“We thank F&M for their swift action, flexibility and partnership in creating this program,” said Kojian. “Originally, F&M committed three-year funding towards the DLBA’s Women-Owned Business Grant Accelerator and its Entrepreneurial and Small Business Education Series, both slated for early summer. As the COVID-19 health crisis forced many businesses to close their doors or alter their operations, we quickly pivoted and came together with F&M to re-purpose this program and provide economic relief in the form of micro-grants.” 

Administered by the DLBA, the micro-grants will be awarded to Downtown Long Beach small business owners who meet certain qualifications, including attending an online Small Business Resiliency workshop hosted by the City of Long Beach and held in conjunction with the Long Beach Economic Partnership, a nonprofit development corporation dedicated to business and workforce development, affordable housing and other economic initiatives. To qualify, business owners must also complete a one-on-one consulting session with a Small Business Development Advisor from the Small Business Development Center. Grants are first come, first serve for those who complete these requirements. 

To participate in the program, businesses must meet the following criteria: 

  • Located within the Downtown PBIA boundaries 
  • For-profit businesses 
  •  Impacted by COVID-19 
  • Have 50 employees or less as reported to the City of Long Beach Financial Management Department 
  • Ground-floor businesses in the food and beverage, retail, personal grooming, health/wellness and entertainment sectors encouraged to apply 
  • Preference given to businesses from underrepresented communities 
  • Attend mandatory 30-minute webinar 
  • Attend mandatory consultation with SBDC Business Advisor 

Businesses interested in applying may contact DLBA Economic Development and Policy Manager Austin Metoyer at austinm@dlba.org. 

The DLBA serves as a resource to assist and uplift Downtown businesses and residents as they navigate this unprecedented challenge. While the world is in flux, one thing is absolutely certain: DLBA will continue to provide the community with the necessary resources to navigate these unchartered waters, and can be relied on as a go-to source of information and promotion. 

About DLBA: The Downtown Long Beach Alliance is a non-profit, community-based organization whose mission is to cultivate, preserve and promote a healthy, safe and prosperous Downtown. By balancing the interests of the residents, as well as businesses, the DLBA creates tangible progress by way of vested interest and solidified partnerships across local, municipal, and commercial lines. For additional information, visit www.downtownlongbeach.org. 

About Farmers & Merchants Bank: Founded in Long Beach in 1907 by C.J. Walker, Farmers & Merchants Bank provides white-glove service to clients at 25 branches across Orange County, Long Beach, the South Bay and Santa Barbara, as well as through robust Online and Mobile Banking platforms. The Bank offers commercial and small business banking, business loan programs, home loans, and a robust offering consumer retail banking products, including checking, savings and youth accounts. Farmers & Merchants Bank is a California state-chartered bank with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Member FDIC) and an Equal Housing Lender. For more information about F&M, please visit the website, www.fmb.com. 

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