Case Study: Paramount Small Business Assistance Program

FORWARD Impact in Paramount City, CA


  • Awarded $672,500 to 40 small businesses in Paramount City
  • Businesses were awarded an average grant amount of $16,813
  • Expanded program by $212,000 due to programmatic support from FORWARD and community enthusiasm for the program
  • 98% of awardees were BIPOC-owned businesses
  • 60% of awardees were women-owned businesses
Sol Bejarano - Paramount City

“Working with James and his incredible team at FORWARD, we were able to quickly and securely distribute funding from our small business assistance program. With this positive experience, we expanded the program to support even more small businesses in the City of Paramount.”

– Sol Bejarano, Management Analyst, Paramount City

Paramount Logo Color 8-5x11

A part of the Greater Los Angeles area and bordering Compton and Long Beach, the City of Paramount is a diverse and welcoming city with a population of around 54,000. 

In 2022, the City of Paramount contracted with FORWARD to administer $500,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The FORWARD team worked closely with Paramount City to provide end-to-end program administration services which includes program design, application intake and processing, fraud prevention, award distribution, and reporting. Through every step of the process, FORWARD ensured that funds were distributed securely and that Paramount City complied with ARPA regulations and reporting requirements. 

Many small businesses and microenterprises are unaware of or needed more support to apply to the program.FORWARD’s multilingual in-house support team provided application assistance via phone, text and email to help applicants complete the application process and provided necessary documentation. 
Paramount City needed additional support to Effectively and securely administer the grant programFORWARD increased capacity for the City by bringing on a team of program managers, application reveiwers, payment processors and reporting specialists to administer the back office of the program. 
Paramount City needed to meet its reporting requirements. FORWARD provided a live dashboard and weekly reports to Paramount City, in addition to a final report at the end of the program.

Due to the increased capacity brought on by the FORWARD team and community enthusiasm for the program, the City expanded the program by $212,000, increasing access to COVID relief funds for more underserved businesses. In less than five months, FORWARD awarded $672,500 to 40 small businesses through the Paramount Small Business Assistance Program. 

The top industries supported through the program was personal services, food and beverage, business services, transportation and telecommunications and manufacturing and construction.

Industries supported

Many of the businesses were microenterprises with an average of four employees and used the funding to pay for operating expenses, such as rent and payroll and overhead costs, such as rent and utilities. 

Reasons for funding

Of the awardees, 98% of grant recipients identified as BIPOC-owned businesses and 60% of grant recipients identified as women-owned businesses. 

98% of grant recipients were BIPOC-owned businesses. 

Awards by Ethnicity

60% of grant recipients were women-owned businesses. 

Awards by Gender

“It is a great program, The boost came just in time. we have been under a lot of stress since COVID and all that we have tried has helped some, but we are still struggling, the money came in at a much needed time.”

Aura Hijleh, Owner, Tony’s Towing

FORWARD is proud to provide the program infrastructure for the Paramount Small Business Assistance Program to help Paramount small businesses and microenterprises recover from the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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