Los Angeles is considering an aid program for its restaurants


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Los Angeles restaurants and other small businesses could benefit from direct assistance of $ 5,000 from the city as part of the budget presented earlier this week by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The proposed financial plan would also allow restaurants to defer up to $ 8,000 in municipal fees for three years and suspend valet and offsite parking requirements for additional savings from what Garcetti set at $ 10,000.

He also calls on city council to reduce the cost of liquor permits by 70% and to set aside $ 2 million in grants for the creation of outdoor restaurant “parklets” in low-income areas.

The open-air dining hall that the city accepted as an emergency response to the pandemic would be allowed to remain operational at all times.

To offset the damage caused by the pandemic, the Democrat presented a plan for what he called return checks – direct grants of $ 5,000 a piece to 5,000 small businesses in the City of Angels. The funds could be used to repay debts incurred during the crisis, buy new equipment and cover the first month of payroll costs.

“We’re going to focus them where our city has had the greatest success, from South Los Angeles to East Los Angeles to the Northeast of the San Fernando Valley,” Garcetti said in his annual speech. on the state of the city.

Los Angeles restaurants have been severely regulated on several occasions during the pandemic. Dining rooms were only recently cleared to reopen, and only 25% of total seating capacity. Al fresco dining has been on hold after an increase in new cases of COVID-19 after the holidays, although places may offer take-out and deliveries.

In total, the mayor asked for $ 150 million in economic aid, much of which was intended for small businesses.

“If we want a strong economy, we need to help small business owners thrive,” Garcetti said. “I know it in my blood.”

The request for economic stimulus dollars apparently does not include one of the more extraordinary items in Garcetti’s budget, a $ 24 million test of a guaranteed minimum income, or GMI. As part of the setup proposed by the mayor, some families residing in Los Angeles would receive a check for $ 1,000 per month to be used as they see fit.

Some sociologists and economists have argued that a GMI might be a more effective way of helping the underprivileged – and boosting the economy – than conventional systems currently in place around the world. Although the plans have already been tried in the United States, these tests were much smaller than the pilot program proposed by Garcetti.

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