Long Beach is offering $10,000 grants, ‘extreme’ small business makeovers

The city is offering nearly two dozen $10,000 grants to small businesses along with support services and workshops.

Long Beach is offering $10,000 grants, ‘extreme’ small business makeovers
A customer leaves Baja Sonora at the Time Square retail center on the corner of Spring Street and Clark Avenue Tuesday, April 23. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Long Beach has launched a new program to aid small businesses by offering selected small business owners support services, workshops and opportunities for 25 businesses to each get $10,000 in grant funding.

Applications for the Level Up LB: Extreme Small Business Makeover and Grant, led by the city’s Department of Economic Development, open Tuesday, April 23, and will close at 5 p.m. on May 21.

“Supporting our small businesses will advance inclusive economic growth for our city,” Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement.

Eligible applicants must be located within the Long Beach city limits, have been operating for at least three years, independently-owned and for-profit, but designated 501(c)3 nonprofits may also apply. Participants cannot earn more than $5 million in gross annual revenue and must have an active Long Beach business license.

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Cannabis-related businesses, churches, businesses with active and unresolved code enforcement, and more will not be eligible. Read the program’s requirements here.

Once selected, owners who participate in the workshop series and complete their business and grant investment plans can receive $10,000 in grants to be used for equipment upgrades, employee training and retention, facility improvements and marketing.

Training sessions will include one-on-one business coaching, strategic business planning, marketing and more.

The city will select 25 businesses to participate and be eligible for the grant. Separately, 10 other businesses will be selected to participate in the workshop series. Recipients should anticipate a notice by late June.

More grant awards may become available at a later time if the city secures enough funding.

Funding for the program is provided for by the Long Beach Recovery Act, which has allocated more than $20 million to provide direct business support. The Inclusive Business Navigators program, announced by the city in February 2023, will help organize Level Up.

For more information about the program, businesses can contact the city’s BizCare Hotline at 562-570-4249 or 4Biz@longbeach.gov.

Editor’s Note: this story has been updated to include the extended deadline to apply.