Perhaps you have read about the record 3.3 million jobless claims, and as of yesterday, more than a million people have applied for unemployment benefits this month in California. These numbers are absolutely startling but they have to be taken in context of the larger public health crisis - lives are priceless. That said, I know everyone is wondering how they are going to make ends meet, and the truth is that these economic impacts will be with us for a long time and should not be taken lightly.
No one saw this COVID-19 pandemic coming but I can assure you that my Council colleagues and Mayor Garcetti and I are working around the clock to mitigate the impacts because we know that the well-being of individuals, families, and small businesses are inextricably linked. Since these factors should not be considered apart from each other, my colleagues and I have introduced a large package of motions and resolutions along with the Mayor’s emergency orders in conjunction with our County and State which have addressed a lot of our concerns. The $2 trillion federal stimulus package will have to be combined and is already bringing up many more questions.
In the interest of moving as quickly as possible, we will be prioritizing the following in today’s City Council meeting:
Workers financial and benefit protections
Workers added health protections
Small business aid
Public safety improvements
LA City Emergency Coronavirus Eviction Moratorium Hotline
To assist residential renters who have been economically impacted by the Coronavirus, the Mayor issued an Eviction Moratorium Emergency Order.
The Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) will have hotline operators available to assist both tenants and landlords on Saturday and Sunday.
To schedule personalized assistance, call the HCIDLA HOTLINE at 1-866-557-7368 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday or Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
More information is available at hcidla.lacity.org/covid-19-eviction-moratorium
State Protection for Homeowners
Governor Newsom has announced that he has procured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers to protect homeowners and consumers to allow 90 days forbearance with no late fees or negative credit effects on home mortgages. In addition, he announced a moratorium on initiating foreclosure sales or evictions for at least 60 days.
Small Business Microloan Program and Resource Guides
The City of Los Angeles introduced a Small Business Microloan Program that has already received more than 650 applications. As part of the program, approved by the Los Angeles City Council, the Economic and Workforce Development Department will provide $11 million in no-fee microloans of $5,000 to $20,000 — which may be used to cover working capital.
Since cash flow is critical at this unprecedented time, the program will offer relaxed underwriting with no credit score minimum, a generous allowance to meet debt service, and a 100% Loan to Value ratio. The interest rate can either be 0% for a term of six months to one year, or 3% to 5% for a term of up to five years. To apply for a microloan or view the toolkit, please visit lamayor.org/loan.
Download this useful 13-page Resilience Toolkit for Los Angeles Businesses.
Download the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center 's LA Small Business Development Center’s COVID-19 Response Guide is designed to be a practical and effective resource for small business owners to stay informed, plan, and respond to the impact of COVID-19.
The guide is available at https://smallbizla.org/covid19-response-guide/
Federal Emergency Funds
Federal emergency funds are available for small businesses across the country that are affected by the spread of Coronavirus. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Apply at https://www.sba.gov
Novel Coronavirus Testing Appointments
The City's website has an online portal to sign up to get tested for the Novel Coronavirus. These tests are strictly limited to residents of Los Angeles who are in the most high-risk categories and most vulnerable. If you think you might have symptoms, and you are over 65, and/or have underlying health issues, please sign up at https://lacovidprod.service-now.com.
What You Can Do To Help
The health crisis has impacted every part of our lives and devastated our most vulnerable communities. To help union members in need, IBEW is holding one of the largest food drives in their history with plans to feed up to current 2,000 families on Friday, March 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Click here to register for their food distribution today. If you would like to volunteer for the event, please click here.
Donate to the Mayor’s Emergency Relief Fund
Support is provided by the Mayor’s Disaster Advisory Council (MDAC), a group of private-sector partners supporting fundraising for emergency response and relief.
CD5 Restaurant Survey
Please continue to support local businesses by ordering takeout and/or delivery, and by purchasing gift cards for future purchases. Another way you can help is to tell us about your favorite eateries and restaurants so that we can help promote their services and give residents better access to local food options. We are grateful for your continued support of our neighborhood establishments.
CD5 Featured Restaurant: The Six
The Six in West LA, at 10668 West Pico Blvd., has been a neighborhood staple for the past ten years and is counting on your support throughout the pandemic by ordering online. The Six also features curbside happy-hour pickup from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Order online at www.thesixrestaurant.com or call 310-837-6662. Gift cards are also available for purchase. You're safer at home . . .with pizza!
Team Koretz to the Rescue
With the recent pandemic, many of our Valley Seniors are homebound due to health medical conditions or unable to drive. With the help of my Encino Field Deputy Christopher Givens, many of our seniors' needs are now being met through everyday help with errands like shopping for groceries. Please contact our office at 323-866-1828 if you know of a vulnerable Senior in our district that needs a helping hand.
I know these are really confusing times and that new information is changing quickly, so please continue to check and verify official information through these credible resources:
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District