Los Angeles Plans Small Business Loan Program


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday announced a $15 million loan program for small businesses in the city.

The loan program, which would be administered by the Valley Economic Development Center, would make loans of between $50,000 and $400,000 to existing businesses in order to help offset the impacts of the recession.

“Over 70 percent of Angelenos work for a small business and that’s why we’re launching this ambitious small business loan program today, to assist those who need a helping hand during these tough economic times,” Villaraigosa said at a press conference announcing the loan program.

Business borrowers must either demonstrate the creation of additional jobs with wages and salaries that meet the city’s living wage ordinance requirements or prove that they are maintaining current employment levels.

“With a laser-like focus on our small businesses and the funding we need to make a real impact, Los Angeles will set in motion job creation at the most grassroots level,” Villaraigosa said.

The funds are from the federal Housing and Urban Development’s Section 108 loan program. Villaraigosa made the announcement at the Northridge factory of Powerline Control Systems Inc., a maker of energy-efficient lights that is the first recipient of a loan from the new program. The loan to Powerline is expected to create up to 107 jobs over the next three years.

“We will be turning our loan into more business for us, more business for our customers and vendors and more jobs in Los Angeles,” Powerline chief executive Marshall Lester said.

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Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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