LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company this week awarded the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) a $100,000.00 grant. The grant will provide support for the Los Angeles Urban League's Emergency Business Assistance Program (ECAP), an economic initiative that seeks to provide business consultation and emergency capital to Black business owners negatively affected by COVID-19. The program will enable many Black businesses to continue their stabilizing influence in the communities they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. ECAP seeks to provide small grants, combined with technical assistance and advisory services, to Black and African American business owners through National Urban League affiliates in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
The ECAP pilot program will provide comparable $100,000 grants to six National Urban League affiliate cities with qualifying Black small business owners – who remain an important pillar of the economy and yet at a competitive disadvantage for accessing relief available due to COVID-19. In addition to providing capital relief, these Black small business owners will also gain access to pre- and post-grant counseling to ensure the survival and growth of the Black small business community.
The Los Angeles version of the project will be managed by Los Angeles Urban League staff, with referrals from the Metro Business Service Center (BSC) which is co-located in their office. The Metro BSC provides technical assistance to minority-owned businesses located in South Los Angeles, specifically those situated in Leimert Park and along the Crenshaw Boulevard corridor.
Cedars Sinai Hospital joined with the Ford Motor Company Fund by contributing an additional $75,000.00 to the program, and the Urban League hopes other companies and foundations will contribute to expand the program's impact. "We're proud to be collaborating with Cedars Sinai and Ford Motor Company Fund and thank them in helping us leverage our consultation program which helps our client businesses get access to training, mentorship, capital and resources," said Michael Lawson, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. "We look forward to strengthening our partnership with these outstanding organizations," Lawson added.
The Emergency Capital program will also provide at least 60 "micro-grants" of $2,000 - $5,000 to qualifying businesses in Los Angeles during the remainder of 2020. In addition to the grants, the Urban League's consultants will help grant recipients get access to other capital and resources, potentially preserving income for more than 200 employees and operators of the 60-plus grantee companies.
"Small businesses are a cornerstone of the African American community and play a vital role in their economic success," said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. "The impact of the COVID pandemic has created economic uncertainty that necessitates immediate action. Our long-term partnership with the National Urban League allows us to quickly mobilize an initiative such as The Emergency Capital Access Program to get immediate assistance to those businesses in need."
The Los Angeles Urban League, a 99 years old non-profit organization, has been a formidable advocate for the underserved communities in Los Angeles. Its programming, such as the Construction Career Academy, Backstage Careers and the LAUL Entrepreneurship Center, has been a beacon for individuals who seek to improve their quality of life through gaining new skills and starting new careers. By publicizing this grant, LAUL is building awareness and credibility for the work it does while recognizing the donors, Cedars Sinai and Ford Motor Company Fund, who made this notable funding possible.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES URBAN LEAGUE
Los Angeles Urban league serves, educates and empowers African Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance and civil rights by providing targeted social programs and advocating for issues that benefit our communities. Visit and follow Los Angeles Urban League at www.laul.org.
ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY FUND
As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund's mission is to strengthen communities and help make people's lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Twitter.