Case Study: Long Beach Recovery Act Grant Program
FORWARD Impact in Long Beach, CA
- $10,357,600 awarded to Long Beach small businesses in less than eight months
- 894 local businesses supported
- $11,580 average award amount
- Administered four grant programs targeting the following industries: food and beverage, personal services and fitness, small businesses, and nonprofits
The City of Long Beach is the 5th largest city in California and home to a vibrant and bustling small business community, many of which are minority-owned and incurred significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the City of Long Beach contracted with FORWARD to administer the Long Beach Recovery Grant Act to distribute over $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant funding to help local small businesses recover from the pandemic.
In March 2022, FORWARD launched the Long Beach Recovery Act Grant Program, which provided direct grants to Long Beach small businesses and nonprofits through four grant programs: Restaurant, Brewery and Bar Relief Grant Program, Personal Services and Fitness Relief Grant Program, Small Business Relief Grant Program, and Nonprofit Relief Grant Program.
|What were the challenges?||FORWARD Solution|
|Many small business owners had difficulty completing the application process due to language and technology barriers.||FORWARD’s easy-to-use application portal was available to small business applicants 24/7 in over 68 languages. FORWARD also offered multilingual technical support via phone, text, and email to support small businesses through the application process.|
|The City of Long Beach aimed to target four impacted industries through multiple programs under the Long Beach Recovery Grant Act and did not have the infrastructure to administer multiple grant programs at scale.||FORWARD provided the program infrastructure for the Long Beach Recovery Act Grant Program, designing custom eligibility guidelines for the four programs, in addition to providing application intake and review, payment processing, fraud prevention and reporting.|
|The City needed to track demographic information and other essential data to meet compliance requirements.||FORWARD worked with the City of Long Beach during the program design process to create an online application with custom questions to capture essential applicant data. FORWARD also provided custom reporting for the City of Long Beach to meet compliance requirements.|
In less than eight months, FORWARD successfully distributed over $10 million to 894 local Long Beach businesses, supporting the restaurant and beverage, personal services and fitness, small business, and nonprofit industries. Businesses were awarded an average award of $11,580, and funds were used to support payroll, rent, utilities, business debt, and marketing.
Funding distributed by program
Through the application data captured in the FORWARD Platform, we found that the majority of awardees were BIPOC business owners with 68% of awarded businesses being BIPOC-owned and 62% of awarded businesses being women-owned.
68% of awarded businesses were BIPOC-owned.
62% of awarded businesses were women-owned.
Awards by Ethnicity
“The grant was a lifeline that will help us stay afloat longer. The funds will allow us to finally take better care of our team that has stayed with us through the pandemic. Also, thanks to the grant, we’ll be able to fix some of our equipment that needed urgent repairs. Thank you!”
– Ismael Miramontes, Owner of La Chancla Mexican Grill, Long Beach Recovery Act Grant Recipient
FORWARD successfully helped the City of Long Beach administer the Long Beach Recovery Act Grant Program, helping hundreds of small businesses towards economic recovery.
Long Beach FORWARD!