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LA County Unveils $4.1 Million Relief Fund for Entertainment Businesses

Initiative Aims to Aid Small Businesses Affected by Strikes and COVID-19

The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the County Film Office, in collaboration with Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Chair Lindsey P. Horvath and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, have introduced a new $4.1 million grant initiative to assist small and micro businesses affected by the 2023 Hollywood Double Strikes and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Entertainment Business Interruption Fund (BIF), funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will offer grants of either $10,000 or $25,000 to eligible small and micro businesses supporting the entertainment industry in LA County. These businesses must have experienced economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and the present. The application deadline is May 24, 2024, at 5 p.m.

“Los Angeles County is investing in the diverse businesses that fuel our creative economy through the Entertainment Business Interruption Fund,” stated Board Chair Lindsey P. Horvath. “This $4.1 million will be a lifeline to the prop houses, florists, caterers, and other small businesses that continue to face economic fallout after the recent strikes and slow return of local productions.”

The LA County Supervisors swiftly responded to the need to create a fund to support these small businesses in their recovery efforts from both the pandemic and the Strikes. The County’s Film Office, housed within the DEO, has collaborated with Lendistry to administer the grants and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to provide application assistance to applicants.

DEO Director Kelly LoBianco emphasized the importance of supporting small businesses impacted by the strikes and the pandemic, stating, “While the strikes have ended and fair deals were negotiated, we know that there are continuing impacts on small businesses supporting the entertainment industry even now as production has started to resume in LA County.”

The Business Interruption Fund builds on the more than $50 billion already awarded to small businesses and nonprofits in 2023 through the Economic Opportunity Grant Program and DEO’s growing portfolio of capital access opportunities. Through BIF, DEO will award approximately 230+ grants in two levels based on revenue size and businesses that fall within the highest, high, and moderate tiers of the County’s COVID-19 Vulnerability and Recovery Index.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Entertainment Industry and keep productions moving,” said Gary Smith, Head of the LA County Film Office. “The County Film Office is grateful to Supervisors Horvath and Barger for approving our request to provide grants to these businesses as they recover from the 2023 Strikes and the COVID Pandemic. Without these small businesses, Hollywood cannot exist.

“The Business Interruption Fund was launched on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at History for Hire, a family-owned prop house small business in North Hollywood. Over 35 small businesses applied for BIF on-site and received technical or application support in person. Interested parties can visit grants.lacounty.gov to learn more and apply today.

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