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$4.1 Million Grant Program Now Available for Small and Micro Businesses in LA County Affected by COVID-19 and 2023 Hollywood Double Strikes

Los Angeles, CA – Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the County Film Office, in partnership with Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Chair Lindsey P. Horvath and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, unveiled a new $4.1 million grant program to provide relief to small and micro businesses affected by both COVID-19 and the 2023 Hollywood Double Strikes.  

Los Angeles County is home to the highest percentage of actors, filmmakers, entertainment businesses and other creatives in not just the state but the world. According to the latest Otis Report, the Industry directly employed over 1 million workers and brought in over $208 billion in revenue prior to the Strikes. In May 2023, most production drastically slowed or stopped completely when the WGA went on Strike and then halted completely in July when SAG-AFTRA also went on strike. The double Strikes lasted until November 2023 making it the longest entertainment strike in history. 

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Entertainment Business Interruption Fund (BIF) will provide grants of either $10k or $25k to qualified COVID-19 impacted small and micro businesses that support the entertainment industry in LA County. To qualify, businesses must be a for-profit business with $3 million or less in annual gross revenue, at least 70% of revenue must come from the entertainment industry and have experienced economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to present. To apply today, visit here. Deadline to apply is May 24, 2024 at 5pm.   

“Los Angeles County is investing in the diverse businesses that fuel our creative economy through the Entertainment Business Interruption Fund,” said 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. LA County will continue to show up for the businesses that are the lifeblood of the entertainment industry, and incentivize film and TV production right here in LA County.” 

“Through the County's new Business Interruption Fund, we're able to provide a critical lifeline to the variety of small businesses that took a hard hit from both the pandemic and the recent historic double Hollywood strikes," said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. "The mom and pop businesses behind our most cherished films in the entertainment industry reside in the County of Los Angeles and are a strong  engine of our local economy. The County Film Office is rightfully responding to the needs of the industry through this new grant. I hope it is widely used and helpful."

Through the July 2023 motion and the creation of the Business Interruption Fund, the LA County Supervisors quickly responded to the need to create a fund to support these small businesses on their road to recovery from both the Pandemic and the Strikes. The County’s Film Office, housed within the DEO, has partnered with Lendistry to administer the grants and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to provide application assistance to applicants. 

“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. We need to support and ensure the future resiliency of our trademark sector as they recover and get back on their feet.” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity. “DEO and the LA County Film Office are excited to launch a new grant program today in partnership with Lendistry and SBDC for our COVID and strike-impacted businesses, expanding our $50 million Economic Opportunity Grant program and adding to the nearly 4,800 small businesses and nonprofits we've served together.”  

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 with 1/3 of total grant funds randomly awarded to businesses that fall within each tier. Awardees will be chosen via random selection. See breakdown below:  

  • Revenue Size: $1,000,000 - 3,000,000 
    Grant Size: $25,000  
  • Revenue Size: Less than $1,000,000  
    Grant Size: $10,000 

“Small businesses are the life blood for 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.” 

Research indicates that the double strikes cost the California economy between $3 to $4 billion and that LA County bore the brunt of this impact given it has the highest concentration of production facilities, studios, unions, guilds, and associations in the world – mirroring the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic which many of the 40,000+ small businesses are still recovering from.  

“We understand the unique challenges faced by small businesses whose livelihoods rely on a bustling entertainment industry,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, President and CEO of The Center by Lendistry. “This program is an opportunity to help these businesses to bounce back stronger and continue contributing to the community.” 

“We applaud the LA County Film Office for supporting our local small businesses that are essential to America’s entertainment industry,” said Pat Nye, Executive Director of the LA SBDC Network. “We’re proud to be a partner in this one-of-kind resource.” 

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 that has been in operation since 1985. 35+ small businesses applied for BIF on-site and received technical or application support in person. Visit grants.lacounty.gov to learn more and apply today!  


About DEO: The newly created Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), launched in July 2022, helps job seekers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and residents access life changing opportunities, and is home to the County's Film Office, LA County’s one stop shop dedicated to all things film and entertainment industry. Stay connected with DEO! Follow @EconOppLA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, subscribe to our newsletter, or visit opportunity.lacounty.gov to learn about DEO services. 


Lara Arsinian, Head of Marketing & Communications
[email protected] or 844-777-2059

Published on: April 26, 2024
09:22 AM