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El Monte approves grants for businesses affected by coronavirus

As many as 55 El Monte businesses will be awarded a one-time $10,000 grant. Applications open Monday, April 27.

The El Monte City Council has signed off on a grant program to assist local businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

The program will offer one-time grants of $10,000 to El Monte businesses impacted financially by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Council members voted unanimously at the emergency meeting Tuesday, April 21. Mayor Andre Quintero, Mayor Pro Tem Maria Morales and Councilman Jerry Velasco were present at City Hall chambers. Councilwomen Jessica Ancona and Victoria Martinez Muela phoned into the meeting.

“We want to be able to assist our small businesses,” Mayor Andre Quintero said by phone on Wednesday afternoon. “They are the backbone of our community and we like to make sure they are taken care of in this time of need.”

As many as 55 businesses will receive a $10,000 grant, City Manager Alma Martinez said. She added the grants will be awarded first come, first served.

Business owners can apply for the grants through El Monte’s virtual city hall. The application process opens at 9 a.m. Monday, April 27.

Funding for the grants come from two Community Development Block Grants, which are  given by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to a staff report, funding will first come from unused Community Development Block Grants HUD previously awarded the city.

The second phase of funding comes from new Community Development Block Grants funds appropriated by the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package the federal government passed in March.

Local businesses must fit the following criteria to be eligible for grant money:

  • Must be within El Monte city limits.
  • Must employ fewer than 20 employees, including the owner.
  • Must be operational for at least one year.
  • Must have or register for a DUNS number, which is a nine-digit identifier for businesses.

According to the city’s staff report, in their application, business owners must “submit a description and cost for items funded by the grant.”

This is the second business-oriented action El Monte passed during the COVID-19 emergency. Its first was a business resource center, which provides information and resources to businesses during the pandemic.

El Monte also started offering a free transportation service for residents, which is able to take them to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments or the San Gabriel Valley Airport for coronavirus testing.