The Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) has awarded a total of $ 100,000 in grants to 50 small businesses in Little Tokyo that have suffered significant revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the first round of distributions in November 2020, grants of $ 2,000 were awarded to 25 of the small businesses in the community, the majority of which are legacy small businesses that have been in operation for over 20 years, and the second round will help support 25 more valuable ones. businesses that contribute to the neighborhood’s cultural identity.
The grants were made possible through donations from the Little Tokyo Small Business Fund, a program created in partnership between LTCC and the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to provide financial support to local businesses during the pandemic.
âWe are very grateful to all of the donors who made this second round of grant distributions possible,â said Kristin Fukushima, CEO of LTCC. âIndividual grants signify our commitment to supporting our cherished businesses now and in better times to come. Little Tokyo is resilient and we want to make sure our community knows we’re all in the same boat. “
The recipients of the second round of grants include 15 traditional small businesses with an average of over 42 years in Little Tokyo, including Akimoto Chiropractic Office, Far Bar, Kurata Eyecare Center, Las Galas, Los Angeles EyeCare Optometry Group, Nobuyuki Watanabe Jewelry, Sanwa Enterprises / Olympic Shop, Sushi & Teri, The Hob Nob Shop, Tokyo Bridal & Tuxedo, Torigoya, U&U Graphics, Utsuwa-No-Yakata, Uyehara Travel and Video Paradise.
Ten other neighborhood businesses were also chosen to receive the second round of funding: ACE One Stop Mail Plus, California Floral Company, EZ Shiatsu LA, Ginza, Little Tokyo Pharmacy, Muttropolitan LA, PANAWEST, Popkiller, Sharp Tea and Wonder Nails.
Micro-grant recipient Dr Gregory Kame, OD, FAAO, of the Los Angeles EyeCare Optometry Group, operating in Little Tokyo since 1921, is already thinking about how he can pass it on and his role in supporting d ‘other small shops and the neighborhood.
“I plan to donate the micro-grant funds to some of the struggling businesses in Little Tokyo who could use the aid but probably didn’t apply for the grant, thinking they would take money away from those who did. desperately need it, “said Dr. Kame. âSo I want to give all the money to the companies that I think deserve it.
âMy business was closed for a few months last year. We are slowly recovering and at least going in the right direction. We are celebrating our 100th anniversary this year. There have been a lot of ups and downs throughout our history, but we’ve made it through every storm. I have no doubts that we can survive this storm.
LTCC has a fundraising goal of $ 500,000 to be able to provide grants of $ 2,000 to as many eligible local businesses that successfully apply and qualify for the program. Eligibility is determined through the application process available at littletokyola.org/gofundme. Another round of grants will be awarded when the fund reaches $ 150,000.
In addition to the Little Tokyo Small Business Relief Fund, the LTCC Community food community (CFC) is finished after 23 weeks. The program has supported 84 local businesses by raising more than $ 195,000 and purchasing and distributing more than 10,000 meals to people in need within the community of Little Tokyo.
LTCC continues to accept donations and requests for the Small Business Relief Fund. LTSC Small Business Assistance Program staff are available to help you complete applications. For assistance in English, contact Megan Teramoto at [email protected] and for assistance in Japanese, contact Mariko Lochridge at [email protected]. Interpretation into Korean, Chinese and Spanish is available on request and can be provided in the language at Mariko Lochridge at [email protected]
For more information and to donate to the Little Tokyo Small Business Relief Fund, visit littletokyola.org/gofundme.