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Garcetti Announces Expanded Small Business Relief Program; Threat Level Remains At Orange

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced another lifeline for small businesses.

Drivers wait in line for entry to a COVID-19 drive-through test site in Los Angeles, California on July 17, 2020 as coronavirus cases have surged to record levels in Los Angeles County and surrounding areas in southern California. - The United States' COVID-19 epidemic is once more blowing up at an exponential rate, even as leaders of some of the worst-hit states resist mandatory mask measures to stem the spread. Health authorities reported 78,000 new cases on Thursday, according to the database run by Johns Hopkins University. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

"We are investing an additional $10 million this evening in funds for the LA Regional COVID-19 recovery program," he said. "This comes on top of an existing $3 million pot already dedicated to this initiative. We now will be able to offer grants, not loans, but grants to the small businesses and nonprofits that are the lifeblood of our economy."

The program is designed to help local businesses and workers by providing direct cash assistance for owners to stay in business and meet payroll.

"And this funding is designed specifically to assist out most vulnerable businesses who did not get served by our federal Paycheck Protection Program," Garcetti said. "Maybe because they're underbanked, maybe because they didn't have the staff, but we know too many small businesses, especially on our main streets, Black-owned businesses and immigrant-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and family-owned businesses were not helped enough."

RELATED: LA County Reports 2,885 New Coronavirus Cases, 62 Deaths

The city will begin accepting applications for the next round of funding on Monday. More information about the program can be found online.

Garcetti also said the city remained at threat level orange, though it was on the cusp of threat level red due to sharp increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. If the city reaches threat level red, Garcetti said stay-at-home orders would be reinstated.

The mayor also said that more than 200,000 people had applied for the city's renters relief program. Applications for the program close at midnight Friday.

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