The Valley Economic Alliance has received a grant of $65,000 from Wells Fargo.
The Sherman Oaks nonprofit announced Thursday the money would be used to create and distribute technical business resources for low-to-moderate income business owners impacted by COVID-19. The alliance will produce bilingual news bulletins and host webinars and virtual conferences, such as career fairs, for business owners in neighborhoods including Pacoima, Sun Valley and Panorama City.
Chief Executive Sonya Blake said in a statement the grant enables the alliance to reach underserved areas where language and technological barriers can limit who does and does not receive much-needed emergency assistance from the federal and state governments or elsewhere.
“This collaboration will empower us to conduct the labor-intensive work of contacting … previously unreached small business owners and other residents,” she said.
The alliance held its first business webinar Thursday afternoon. It was titled “Back to Business: Best Practices for Re-Opening Restaurants and Retail Shops,” and featured David Juarez, director of local government affairs for the L.A./O.C. chapter of the California Restaurant Association, and Claudia Moreno, outreach manager for the Southern California branch of business advocacy group Small Business Majority. The two explained recent regulatory changes and best practices for social distancing, sanitation and other topics critical for mitigating the risk of infection and liability as the retail sector continues its soft reopen this month.
Webinars are free and open to the public.