The City of Los Angeles has allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to provide grants to eligible microenterprises and small businesses in need of economic support due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact. $25 million will be disbursed through the Comeback Checks Program to assist the strong and equitable economic recovery within the City.
The Comeback Checks Program will provide $5,000 grants to approximately 5,000 L.A. businesses. Grant recipients will be selected through a weighted lottery process, with final award recommendations based on availability of funds, program guidelines, submission of all required information and supporting documentation.
There are three business types that are eligible for the Comeback Checks grant program. They include:
- Microenterprises: small businesses with five (5) employees or less, including the owner(s), with less than $100 thousand in annual gross revenue.
- Small Businesses: businesses with less than $1 million in annual gross revenue.
- Small to Medium Businesses: businesses with have yearly gross revenues between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 in the most recent tax return
All businesses must have prior tax returns for 2019 or 2020 to verify revenue. CRF will assist in the pre-selection and eligibility review of the City’s Comeback Checks grant applications in accordance with Program guidelines established by the City.
- Must have experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. These impacts must be documented, quantifiable, and clearly impacted by COVID-19.
- Private for-profit businesses including sole proprietorships.
- Must be located and operating within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles.
- Must have been in operation since March 1, 2020.
- Must have a City Business Tax Registration Certificate (BTRC) in good standing.
- Corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships must have an “ACTIVE” status with the California Secretary of State.
- Businesses engaged in illegal activities, such as selling drug paraphernalia or operating a motel that permits illegal prostitution
- Cannabis businesses or businesses that support cannabis businesses
- Corporate-owned franchises (a corporation is responsible for operations, profit and loss, business decisions and quality control; corporate hires and oversees all store staff)
- Publicly traded companies
- Private social clubs that limit the number of memberships for reasons other than capacity
- Payday loan stores, pawn shops and other firms involved in lending activities, such as banks, finance companies and any other firm whose stock in trade is money
- Insurance companies, such as life, auto, home, bail bonds and other similar entities
- Astrology, palm reading, tarot, etc.
- Liquor stores and smoke shops
- Night clubs
- Adult bookstores, massage parlors, strip clubs
- Businesses that present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and/or derive revenue through the sale of products or services of a prurient sexual nature
- Gambling businesses (i.e., track waging facilities, casinos, bingo parlors)
- Trailer-storage yards and junkyards
- Gun or ammunition stores
- Multi-sales distribution
- Firms involved in speculative activities (i.e., day trading, stock market exchange facilitors)
- Dealers of rare coins and stamps
- Lobbying firms or businesses that dedicate 50% or more of their time or resources in lobbying activities