Cedar Sinai and Ford Motor Company awarded the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) a $75,000.00 grant. The grant will provide support for the Los Angeles Urban League Emergency Business Assistance Program. In conjunction, Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund will partner with the National Urban League to launch the Emergency Capital Access Program, (ECAP), an economic  initiative that seeks to provide immediate access to capital for Black business owners negatively  afflicted 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 $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 Angles version of the project will be managed internally 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.

“We’re proud to be collaborating with Cedar Sinai and Ford Motor Company and thank them in assisting us to leverage our grants and consultation program which help 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 strengthen our partnership with these reputable philanthropic organizations,” Lawson added.

Ford Motor Company and Cedar Sinai will also provide at least 75 grants of $2,000 – $5,000 to qualifying businesses in Los Angeles during the remainder of 2020. In addition to leveraging LAUL’s grants and consultation to help grant recipients get access to other capital and resources, the grant plans to   preserve income for more than 200 employees and operators of the 75 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 Entrepreneur Centers, has been a beacon light for individuals who seek to improve their quality of live 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, Cedar Sinai and Ford Foundation, who made this notable funding possible.