MALIBU—On Thursday, May 28, Malibu Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Pro Tem Mikke Pierson announced the creation of the Small Business Relief Fund, an interest-free loan for qualifying Malibu small businesses affected by COVID-19.

The application for the loans ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 opened immediately after the announcement. Qualifying businesses must employ 15 or fewer employees and have an annual revenue of less than $1 million. Individual contractors also qualify for the loan.

Pierson said in a Facebook video, “If you need a little help, need help with inventory, need to get the doors reopened, just need that extra bump, we’re here for you.”

The loans are made possible thanks to a group of Malibu residents who donated to The Change Reaction, a non-profit that has been creating “Angel Funds” for small businesses in Southern California. In April L.A. District 12 Councilmember John Lee announced The Change Reaction’s identical loan program for parts of the San Fernando Valley.

Founder of the Change Reaction, Greg Perlman describes The Change Reaction as, “a platform that directly connects philanthropic people around the nation to working people and businesses in their communities who are struggling to survive.”

The loans are repayable over the next 24 to 36 months beginning after a three-month grace period. The intention is to provide immediate relief to businesses, and when paid back, the loans are to be redistributed to other businesses.

“100% of all loan repayments will be redistributed to other small businesses, paying it forward to create a chain reaction of change, gratitude,” the Malibu Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.

In addition to the loan, the Small Business Relief Fund will offer free business support, which includes restructuring lease obligations and operation plans.

Businesses will have to provide proof of rent paid on time in the past 12 months and have applied for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan to be eligible. The Jewish Free Loan Association will administer the loans.

Perlman said in a statement, “We all have a role to play in supporting the most vulnerable during this crisis because if not now, when? We are happy to partner with the city of Malibu and start helping local businesses recover from this crisis and provide some relief.”

To apply for a Small Business Relief Fund loan click here to apply online or contact Program Manager Daphna Gerendash at