The City of Long Beach has recently released the application for the Visual Improvement Program (VIP) Grant, aimed at providing support to local businesses affected by crime and vandalism that occurred on or after October 1, 2022. The grant will provide eligible businesses with up to $1,500 to cover storefront repairs, boarding costs, insurance deductibles, and business operating expenses.
The VIP Grant was previously announced as part of the City’s effort to ease the burden of property crimes and vandalism for small businesses throughout the city. The City has emphasized the equitable implementation of the program to ensure that funding reaches underserved areas by focusing outreach in low-to-moderate income areas and reserving a minimum of 50% of awards for businesses owned by people of color or located in a low-to-moderate income area.
To be eligible for the VIP Grant, businesses and nonprofits must meet the following criteria: damages were sustained on or after Oct. 1, 2022; have a business storefront located and operating within the boundaries of Long Beach, California (address cannot be a P.O. Box or an address that leads to a shipping center as their physical location); be a private for-profit business, including sole proprietorships, or nonprofit organization; have a City of Long Beach business license; be an independently owned and operated business (not publicly traded); have fewer than 200 employees; gross no more than $2 million annually, and corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships must have an active status with the California Secretary of State.
Applications are now open, and eligible applicants will receive the grant awards on a rolling basis. Applications will remain open until the funding is exhausted. Additional program details, including eligibility requirements and submission instructions, are available on the city’s website, longbeach.gov/smallbizgrants.
To assist businesses in applying for the VIP Grant, Economic Development’s BizCare Program will offer free assistance via phone at 562.570.4249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In-person assistance is also available at BizCare Pop-Ups, with the latest schedule available on the city’s website, www.longbeach.gov/bizcare.
The VIP Grant is made possible by the Long Beach Recovery Act, which is aimed at funding economic and public health initiatives for residents, workers, and businesses that have been critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about the Recovery Act, visit longbeach.gov/recovery.