SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on Tuesday, September 21 that 78 Santa Monica small businesses received $5,000 grants from community members, business leaders and nonprofits that donated to Santa Monica’s We Are Santa Monica Fund and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Foundation. According to the city of Santa Monica website, 475 local businesses applied, and 78 grantees were selected via an online, randomized application system.

The SaMo Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to assist brick-and-mortar businesses in Santa Monica with annual revenues less than $2 million. Applicants and grantees were located across the city, and program funds were distributed and managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC LA) on the city’s behalf. A wide variety of businesses received a SaMo Small Business Recovery Grant, with funding distributed across all neighborhoods to a range of industries.  Of the 78 businesses that received a grant:

Photo courtesy of the city of Santa Monica website.
  • 50% are minority-owned or led by people of color
  • 51% are from Low- or Moderate-Income (LMI) Census tracts
  • 50% are women-owned or led
  • 44% of grantees reported annual revenues below $250,000
  • 76% of funding went to services or retail industries
  • 36% of grantees are located in the zip code 90405

“This has been such an unprecedented and challenging 18 months for our businesses,” said Jennifer Taylor, City of Santa Monica’s Economic Development Manager.  “We know many business owners are still struggling with outstanding bills and expenses, and we hope these grants can provide extra support to our small business community.”

“As cities plan and begin to implement their COVID-19 economic recovery strategies, it is imperative that they do it equitably to ensure that small businesses owned and led by women and people of color aren’t left behind – and the City of Santa Monica is doing just that,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director of LISC LA. “LISC LA is proud to be able to partner with the City of Santa Monica on these recovery efforts, and we hope that with additional funding, we can continue to help the city rebuild and distribute this economic relief across the city.”

“We are proud to support our small business community and thank our generous donors to the Santa Monica Chamber Foundation and We Are Santa Monica Fund for their contribution to such a tangible relief effort,” said Laurel Rosen, President/CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

Santa Monica businesses who are interested in additional grant programs are urged to apply for the newly announced $1.5 billion in state funding as part of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. State grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 are available for eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Businesses can apply through the state’s funding portal for this entirely separate grant opportunity. For more details and to apply by Thursday, September 30, visit

The city’s We Are Santa Monica Fund focuses on COVID-19 Relief for Santa Monica Residents, Business Recovery, the Black Agenda in Santa Monica, and the Emergency Food Pantry at Virginia Avenue Park. To donate to the We Are Santa Monica Fund, visit For more details on the Santa Monica’s Economic Recovery efforts, visit