Analyzing Financial Data by Dave Dugdal | CC-BY-SA-2.0
Financing programs and development incentives for small and large businesses are vital tools for distressed urban neighborhoods. These programs have helped create new businesses, jobs, housing, education and healthcare opportunities for thousands of Americans. The City of Los Angeles offers various programs to assist private business, property owners and developers to be successful and in turn benefit low income communities, create jobs and provide goods and services in our communities.

FINANCING PROGRAMS

Major Projects Loan Program

The Major Projects Loan Program offers long term, fixed rate financing for large-scale real estate commercial development projects. Such projects could include industrial parks, hotels, office buildings, mixed-use projects, and large shopping centers. These projects must provide a HUD-specific public benefit - creating or retaining full-time equivalent jobs or goods and services to low and moderate income households.

In addition to meeting HUD requirements, projects to be considered must meet one of the following criteria:
  • Revenue Generation
  • Investment in Targeted Communities
  • WorkSource Hiring Commitment
Loan Amounts can range from $500,000 to $30,000,000. The interest rate can range from HUD Cost of Funds + 2.5-4.5% for rehabilitation/new construction and HUD Cost of Funds +4-6% for acquisition. The maximum city participation is 20% of total project value for rehabilitation/new construction loans and 25% for acquisition loans. Loan terms are no longer than 20 years for rehabilitation/construction and 5 years on acquisition loans. Eligible activities are property acquisition, equipment purchase, new construction and related soft costs. Loans may be used with private and public funds.

Applicants must show that traditional bank financing is not available, or not available in the amounts needed, or at terms the company cannot afford to do the project. For questions and to apply, please contact Angelica Nuñez at 213-744-9377 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Los Angeles City Microloan Program

The City of Los Angeles Microloan Program provides financing needed to viable microenterprises (1 to 5 employees) and small businesses (more than 5 employees) that private financial institutions or community lenders cannot finance.

The EWDD makes a profound impact on microenterprises and small businesses. Over the last five years, we’ve helped more than 11,000 microenterprises and small businesses leverage over $180 million in financing to grow their companies and create over 7,500 jobs.

EWDD Resources
  • Direct Lending with more flexible eligibility criteria than traditional financing
  • Partnerships with Local Lenders to access financing solutions for your small business
  • Assistance Packaging Your Loan through one of our 9 BusinessSource Centers and working to find a lender that can meet your financing needs
  • Advocating for Microenterprises and considering each request on a case-by-case basis
  • Listening to Your Story to help you determine which loan program or combination of programs will work better for your business
  • Referrals to Other Services as needed, including business strategies, financial projections preparation, general business coaching, and marketing
General Eligibility
  • Credit:
    Principal business owner(s) must have reasonable and responsible personal credit history and an acceptable explanation for any derogatory marks. Bankruptcies and debt write-offs must be at least 12 months old.
  • Cash Flow:
    Existing businesses must show that historical profits are sufficient to service the requested debt. New businesses and those planning a significant expansion that do not show enough historical profit, must have outside income (i.e. spousal income, retirement income, military income, alimony, etc.) that is adequate to pay for the personal living expenses of the owners. Financial projections presented by Microenterprises will also be reviewed for their viability.
  • Location:
    Primary business operation must be located within the City of Los Angeles or businesses that will move or establish within City boundaries. The LA City's Department of City Planning Online Zoning Tool can assist in determining your commercial location.
  • Microloan Use of Funds:
    Must be for reasonable and eligible business operations cost, including working capital, purchases of equipment or inventory, start-up capital, and business acquisition.
  • Microloan Requirement:
    Microenterprise must be low to moderate income or create/retain jobs.
  • Small Business Loan Use of Funds:
    Must be for reasonable and eligible business operations cost; working capital, equipment, inventory, tenant improvements and real estate.
  • Small Business Loan Job(s) Creation Requirement:
    For every $35,000 of city loan, the borrower must create one full time permanent job (not temporary or seasonal). A minimum 51% of the total jobs created need to be fulfilled or made available to low to moderate income people (number of jobs required is rounded up and will be based on the approved loan amount).
  • Collateral:
    Principal business owners are required to pledge all available business and personal assets, such as a vehicle, as collateral up to the amount of the loan through a blanket UCC-1 form. In some cases, specific UCCs are filed if the City is financing equipment.
  • Capital Injection:
    Existing business owners must inject 10-20% of the total project. Microenterprises must inject 25% of total project. Business acquisitions must inject 20-25%. Equipment financing, business owners must inject 20% of the new equipment cost.
  • Experience:
    Business owners must have at least 2 years of experience in the industry.
  • Executive Business Plan and Projections:
    Business owners must develop an executive business plan and financial projections for start-ups or significant businesses expansion.
  • Required Guarantors:
    All business owners who hold 20% or more ownership must guarantee the loan.
  • Co-Signer:
    A co-signer with reasonable credit and sufficient income to re-pay the loan can be included as a guarantor to mitigate weaknesses in the loan request.
  • Application Fee:
    $250 (non-refundable, covers the cost of running personal and business credit reports and UCC filings/renewals)
Important Documentation
  • Complete Loan Application
  • Business Tax Returns (2 years)
  • Business Financial Statement
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Personal Tax Returns (2 years)
  • Bank Statements (3 months)
  • Business Tax Registration Certificate
  • Business Plan and Projections (2 years)
  • Resume (at least 2 years in the industry)
  • Sources and Uses of Funds (owner’s capital injection subject to verification)
Microloan Terms
Loan Limits:
$5,000 to $50,000
Term:
1-5 Years
Interest Rate:
7% to 9%, fixed
Program Parameters:
EWDD operates as a direct lender utilizing CDBG funds from HUD. This program is available to businesses that do not qualify for bank financing.
Business owner(s) will receive business coaching pre and post funding.
On a best efforts basis, each loan is supported with collateral which may include business assets such as cash, accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, intellectual property and/or real property.
Personal Guaranty from owner(s) is required.
Eligibility:
Must be low to moderate income or create/retain jobs for low-moderate income persons
Business Revenue Limits:
Up to $1,000,000.00
Maximum Number of Employees on Payroll:
5 Employees*
*Depending on business NAICS Code
Job Creation:
May or may not be required
Loan Fee:
1%
Applications are available upon request. For more information, please contact Miguel A. Acuña, EWDD Microloan Manager, at 213-744-9367 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Small Business Loan Program

EWDD designed the Small Business Loan Program in order to provide financing to viable small businesses that private lenders cannot accommodate. Whether, your business is a Start-Up or an existing business that would like to expand, loan funds can be used for reasonable and eligible business operation costs, including, but not limited to, inventory, equipment, working capital and leaseholder improvements.

Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF)

The Los Angeles Development Fund program provides investment capital to low-income communities to promote economic growth. By generating private investment capital through New Market Tax Credits the program fosters the construction and rehabilitation of real estate and the expansion of operating businesses in order to create jobs, generate economic activity and improve the quality of services in low income communities to low income persons.

Learn more about the LADF at ladfnewmarkets.org



DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES & PROGRAMS

EB-5 Visa Program for Targeted Employment Areas

The EB-5 program provides visas to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status based upon their engagement in new commercial enterprises. Most importantly, EB-5 requires job creation in the highest unemployment areas by census tract.
  • Under federal law, 10,000 immigrant visas are available per year to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in new commercial enterprises
  • Individual must invest at least $1,000,000 into a new commercial enterprise that they have established
  • An applicant seeking EB-5 Visa must demonstrate that the investment will benefit the United States Economy and create full time employment for at least 10 qualified individuals, or maintain existing employees in a troubled business
  • If the new commercial enterprise is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the required investment is decreased to $500,000
  • The TEA is either a "high unemployment area" or the area has experienced an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national rate
The City of Los Angeles requests the following information be submitted for the EB-5 approval letter:
  • Amount of Capital Invested
  • Jobs Created (full and part time)
  • Time Line
  • Renderings
City staff will conduct a site inspection of proposed development site. For more information, contact Alex Lakshtanov, EWDD Industrial and Commercial Finance Officer, at 213-978-9368 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Additional information about the EB-5 Program for businesses, including current census tract data, maps and interactive location tools, are available on the California Go-Biz website at www.Business.CA.Gov or on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.USCIS.Gov.

Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones were enacted as part of the 2017 tax reform package (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) to address uneven economic recovery and persistent lack of growth that have left many communities across the country behind. In the broadest sense, the Opportunity Zone program provides a federal tax incentive for investment in low-income urban and rural communities through favorable treatment of reinvested capital gains and forgiveness of tax on new capital gains.

The City of Los Angeles has 194 Opportunity Zones approved in 13 Council Districts.


Federal Empowerment Zone Business Tax Incentives

The Federal Empowerment Zone Business Tax Incentives have been extended through December 2016 (S.1946). They include, but are not limited to:
  • Tax deduction for state and local general sales taxes
  • Tax credits for research expenditures
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC allows for a credit for the hiring of qualified long term unemployed)
  • Increased expense allowance for business assets, computer software and qualified real property
  • Bonus depreciation allowance
  • Tax incentives for investment in empowerment zones
Additional information can be found on the U.S. Congressional Website at Congress.gov. A Los Angeles Urban Renewal Community map along with other development tools can be found on the HUD Website, HUD.gov, under the Community Planning and Development Program Office, Economic Development.


Green Business & Incentives

From developing a Clean Air Action Plan to creating LA’s first-ever Sustainable City pLAn, Los Angeles is cultivating a booming CleanTech Industry. LA is dedicated to promoting clean technology sector through innovations like the LA Cleantech Business Incubator and PortTech, a non-profit center dedicated to creating sustainable businesses for ports and the goods movement industry.

Explore ways to go green, get involved and save money at the same time


City of Los Angeles Restaurant & Hospitality Express Program

The Restaurant and Hospitality Express Program (RHEP), offered by the Department of Building and Safety, facilitates the approval process for food service establishments, such as restaurants and bars. The RHEP acts to streamline approvals, provide assistance to restaurateurs, their design and construction teams, and enhance coordination in permitting and regulations. The goal is to make the permitting and inspection process more efficient, enabling new Food Service Establishments to open on time and on budget.

Learn how the program can benefit your business


Film Industry Incentives

Many states and countries are competing to lure this industry and they are providing lucrative incentives. Los Angeles is serious about attracting and retaining the good jobs Hollywood brings to this region, therefore, the City Council and Mayor have approved the following entertainment industry incentives, all designed to retain and attract film, television, and commercial productions in the City.

EWDD no longer has oversight of the Film LA contract. If you need information relating to the Film LA contract, please contact Eva Bitar in the Public Works Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 213-978-0258 or 213-344-8498.

Get resources for filmmakers, communities and production data