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Been in Business 20 Years or More? Become a L.A. Legacy Business

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The City of LA is launching an ongoing initiative to celebrate and support the visibility, legacy, and sustainability of Legacy Businesses, small businesses that have been operational for 20 years or more, with tangible benefits including technical assistance, promotional support, and access to apply for grants. 

The program will support the visibility, patronage, and sustainability of long-standing small businesses within the City of LA that contribute to the city’s rich cultural and historical identity. The Legacy Business Program aims to foster economic empowerment by encouraging patronage of participating Legacy Businesses throughout Los Angeles.

A “Legacy Business” is defined as a business open to the public that has been in operation for 20 years or more within the same community, and which meets three of the following four criteria:

– It contributes significantly to its community’s history or identity.

– It sustains and cultivates distinctive cultural traditions or practices.

– The business is not franchised or affiliated with a national corporate chain.

– It provides vital goods and services in a language and manner that is culturally accessible to the community.

The Legacy Business Program is an ongoing initiative. Small businesses that have been in business for 20 years or more within the same community will be eligible to participate.  

The Legacy Business Program will provide tangible benefits to foster economic resilience and support the longevity of Legacy Businesses. Benefits include:

– Technical Assistance to provide resources and support for operational and technical issues Legacy Businesses may encounter.

– Financial Assistance – Provides access to financial opportunities and capital to sustain or grow their business, including the opportunity to apply for grants up to $20k.

– Promotion Activities – Assisting Legacy Businesses with increased visibility and exposure to potential customers.

– Government Connections – Assisting Legacy Businesses in navigating the LA City government and contracts.

We understand that business owners are incredibly busy managing the day-to-day operations of their businesses. Time commitments for participating in the Technical Assistance program will vary depending on the services you participate in. We aim to make all aspects of the program efficient and effective for all participants.

The online application to apply for grants will begin in the Fall of 2024. The grant application portal opening will be announced on the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department website, social media, and with a press release. Applications will be given priority for businesses facing gentrification, steep lease increases, and other impacts on the security of the business. For Legacy Businesses with one to five employees (including the owners), the grant amount is $10,000. Grants for $20,000 will be provided to Legacy Businesses with six or more employees.

Technical assistance begins in January 2025 and is designed to support business owners with knowledge, training, and assistance for key business-related topics, including social media marketing, retirement and succession planning, access to legal consultation, lease negotiation, financial counseling, and more. Support will be offered online, aiming to maximize impact while reducing time commitments for business owners. Business owners will complete a self-assessment to determine which services they need. Participation is voluntary, and all Legacy Businesses are eligible for technical assistance.

The City will elevate the Legacy Businesses, uplifting their heritage and contribution to the fabric of Los Angeles. The City will implement promotional activities to assist Legacy Businesses with increased visibility and exposure. Participating businesses will be prominently featured on the City of Los Angeles Legacy Business website. They will receive a Legacy Business Program promotional toolkit to highlight their designation as a Legacy Business and participation in the program. 

The City will hold four Zoom information sessions on how to become a Legacy Business on March 7, 13, 19 and 21.

For more information and to register for a webinar visit https://la-legacy-business-lahub.hub.arcgis.com.  

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