Coronavirus pandemic: El Monte offering $10,000 grants to small businesses affected by downturn

El Monte is offering one-time grants to about 55 small businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic crisis.
EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- City officials in El Monte are trying to do what they can to help local small businesses impacted by the coronavirus downturn.

The signs of the shutdown are everywhere in El Monte: Stores are closed, streets are quiet and small businesses are struggling to survive.

"We still have to pay the rent. We still have to pay my two employees that I have, so it's tough. We still have bills coming in. And, I'm hoping for the best for the future," said Michael Baronian, owner of Star Tire.

The business is still open, but with fewer people driving business has ground to a halt. Baronian is trying to get help anyway he can -- including a $10,000 grant now being offered by the city.

Coronavirus crisis: San Fernando Valley small business owner credits Chase bank for 'smooth, seamless' loan process
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The owner of the Northridge-based company Butterie is thankful to her local Chase bank for a "quick and seamless" Paycheck Protection Program loan process, which made it possible for her to keep her employees.

"City of El Monte mayor told me to apply immediately, and that's how I heard about it. And I did, I applied. And within I'd say a week or so I was approved," said Baronian.

El Monte officials say demand for the grants has been overwhelming. Any business in the city with 20 or fewer employees that has been in operation for a year or more can apply.

"We knew we needed to help. And so, we were blessed and lucky enough to have an administrative team that has been looking for resources that and grants that are available so that we can provide assistance to our community" said El Monte Mayor Pro-Tem Maria Morales.
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