The devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has visited upon small businesses across the country is measured in mandatory closures, massive unemployment, and long lines at food pantries. For now, these drivers of the American economy are facing a situation as dire as any in the recent history of our country.
For many, the outlook seems bleak, as they are in the position of having to wait out an economic calamity that has no fixed end date. For the sake of the entrepreneurs who have built these businesses, the employees who depend upon them for their livelihood, and the customers who enjoy their goods and services, and the very character of our communities, we must do what we can to assist small businesses so they can emerge from this time of crisis and fuel our economic recovery.
As Chair of the Council's Jobs Creation Committee, I have worked hard to help small businesses flourish. I worked closely with Mayor Garcetti to create an emergency loan program for small businesses at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis. This week, the Council approved several more of my motions that will ease the rules, regulations and practices that typically govern the relationship between the city and businesses.
One of my motions ensures that the city will pay the money it owes to local businesses with which it contracts within 15 days of receiving an invoice. This is especially important at a time when such payments provide critical cash flow that may be necessary to make payroll or rent obligations. Another motion defers payment obligations for small businesses with outstanding city loans for up to 12 months, and also waives the interest accrued during that time period.
The city remains under an emergency directive, which is absolutely critical to help combat the spread of this deadly virus. At the same time, we can begin to lay the groundwork for the economic recovery that will eventually occur. And, as always, small businesses will lead the way.
Please utilize the Resilience Toolkit for Los Angeles Small Businesses, which provides federal, state and local help to businesses impacted by COVID-19: ewddlacity.com/images/business/COVID19_BusinessResilienceToolkit_v4.pdf