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What is Metro’s Business Interruption Fund?
Metro’s Business Interruption Fund (BIF) provides financial assistance to small “mom and pop” businesses located along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Little Tokyo area and the 2nd/Broadway segment along the Regional Connector and Phase I of the Purple Line Extension that are impacted by transit rail construction. Metro’s goal is to help small businesses continue to thrive throughout construction and post construction. The BIF is a demonstration of Metro’s commitment to being a trusted community builder, partner and stakeholder.
Metro’s BIF is administered as a pilot program in partnership with Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation (PCR).
What is the purpose of the Business Interruption Fund?
Transit rail construction can mean growth opportunities for small “mom and pop” businesses located along transit corridors; however, transit construction also can be challenging for small businesses. With the establishment of the BIF, Metro can provide financial assistance to directly impacted small “mom and pop” businesses through grants to cover certain fixed operating expenses.
What amount of financial assistance can an impacted business receive?
Metro’s Board of Directors authorized the Agency to designate $10 million annually to be used for implementation of the Business Interruption Fund. Businesses may file multiple requests for financial assistance through the BIF; but in no event will the amount paid exceed the lesser total amount of $50,000, or 60% of annual business revenue losses per business. The financial assistance covers fixed operating expenses such as:
- Rent or Mortgage
- Other types of eligible documented business related expenses may be considered by the program administrator
- Commercial property owners may file, however; property owners may only file a claim for mortgage, utilities, insurance and other expenses as determined by the program administrator
Note: Residential property owners are not eligible to apply.
How do businesses know if they are eligible to receive funds?
Metro has developed Administrative Guidelines for the BIF. There are various established guidelines and provisions. Some key provisions include that businesses must be:
1. Directly impacted by a relevant Metro Construction project.
- Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project
- Regional Connector, Little Tokyo area and the 2nd/Broadway segment
- Metro Purple Line Extension, Phase 1
2. Located within the eligible geographic area.
- Businesses must be immediately adjacent to a transit rail corridor. This refers to a business whose property line abuts or faces the rail corridor or a designated construction staging or construction storage area, including a business located in a mall or strip-mall that is similarly situated.
3. Meet the definition of a small “mom and pop” business.
- Small business for the purposes of the BIF is defined as a for-profit business or non-religious, non-profit with 25 or fewer total employees.
4. Meet the technical qualifications to participate in the program, which include:
- Eligible businesses must be in continuous operation for at least two years along the corridor.
- Eligible businesses must have the ability to provide financial records (e.g. gross receipts, payroll taxes, bank statements or other financial information).
- Businesses must be solvent.
- Businesses must be in good standing with all local, state and federal taxing and licensing authorities.
5. Demonstrate a loss of business revenue directly related to the period of construction disruption.
There are various established guidelines and provisions for types of businesses ineligible to participate in the BIF.
How do I apply for financial assistance through the Business Interruption Fund?
There are “Four Easy Steps” to apply to the BIF:
Step 1. Visit the PCR website at pcrcorp.org, then click on the Metro icon and follow the instructions.
Step 2. Complete and submit the online application.
Step 3. Schedule an appointment with a Business Advisor. The Business Advisor will contact you directly within two business days of submitting your application.
Step 4. Collect the required financial documents needed for your application. Your Business Advisor will assist you in this process as needed.
It’s that simple! Applicants can also contact Angela Winston, Program Manager, at 213.739.2999, extension 223.
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