Small businesses, restaurants and nonprofits to soon see COVID relief grants

Long Beach will soon begin distributing direct relief grants to small businesses, bars and restaurants, nonprofits, arts groups and others that have been impacted by the pandemic.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously gave the city the green light to begin distributing grants for some of the more than 84 programs being funded by the Long Beach Recovery Act.

The funding comes more than a year after the city approved its recovery plan and received more than $60 million in federal COVID relief aid to address fiscal issues and urgent needs in the community. 

In all, Long Beach has been allocated $135.7 million in federal pandemic relief dollars under the American Rescue Plan Act approved by Congress last year.

But the direct funding to the community has been slow to roll out as the city said it was carefully planning for equity in its more than 80 programs and waiting for final federal guidelines on how it could spend the money. 

The application period for the restaurant, bar and brewery relief program closed on Sunday and establishments will soon see grant funding, officials said.

Other recently launched programs that will see funding include a micro-shuttle service to support tourism, businesses and local revenue generation; a creative economy grants program to fund local artists and arts, culture and history nonprofits; and a nonprofit relief grant program.

Programs coming this year include a first-time homebuyer program, a motel vouchers program for homeless services, and a free mobile hotspot program for small businesses and low-income residents.

Ninth District Councilmember Rex Richardson said businesses in need will soon have money in their hands.

“This is well-received and we look forward in getting those resources out to support our recovery,” he said.

Click here for more information on Long Beach’s various aid programs.

Long Beach rolling out relief programs a year after receiving millions in COVID aid

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].