Councilmember John Lee and The Change Reaction Launch Two New Programs to Provide Immediate Assistance to Families and Small Businesses in Need During the COVID-19 Crisis

LOS ANGELES – Councilmember John Lee and the nonprofit, The Change Reaction, are teaming up again, but this time, to create two new programs that provide immediate assistance to residents and small businesses of Council District 12 with the unprecedented challenges they face during the COVID-19 global pandemic – A Helping Hand grocery assistance program for individuals facing food insecurity, and the CD12 Small Business Angel Fund for essential small businesses. The funding for the programs was made possible by a generous donation from Greg and Jodi Perlman, founders of The Change Reaction.

“This pandemic is the worst in modern history and its impacts across the world, both socially and economically, are devastating,” said Councilmember John Lee. “We lean on the guidance and expertise of our public health officials because this is a public health crisis and saving lives is the first priority, but there’s no denying that residents are struggling as a result of the measures we’ve taken. We have an obligation to do everything we can to not only help our residents get their very basic needs met, but to also support the business community so that our economy can rebound when we are ready to lift the stay at home order.”

A Helping Hand is a grocery assistance program offering grocery gift cards to residents of Council District 12 who are experiencing food insecurity due to loss of job or income as a result of the pandemic, and who may not be receiving other forms of government assistance that are critical to weathering the financial stress of the pandemic. Potential recipients can fill out a simple application to see if they are eligible. The form can be found at:

The Small Business Angel Fund is a unique, interest-free loan program for small essential businesses located in Council District 12. In addition to the loan, businesses will receive ongoing support, including assistance restructuring lease obligations, credit assessments, and a review of operational plans. Loan repayment terms will be tailored to the borrower’s ability to repay and all loan repayments will be deposited back into the fund to help more small businesses. To be eligible, businesses must be located in the Twelfth District, submit proof of 12 months of timely paid rent through March 2020, and have submitted an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The application for the Small Business Angel Fund can be found at:

“What we’re trying to do here is provide a simple, streamlined process to continue helping local small businesses and families in need,” said Greg Perlman. “We all have a role to play in supporting the most vulnerable during this crisis. My wife and I have decided to substantially increase our philanthropy during this crisis because if not now, when? I’m glad that together with Councilman Lee, we can build on the success of our previous partnership to provide some relief.” Funds to provide grants and loans to small businesses through the federal government’s stimulus package and L.A. County’s Small Business Recovery Loan Program are already completely depleted.

Councilmember Lee and Perlman’s previous partnership, the CD12/Change Reaction Angel fund, was launched in December 2019. This program provides emergency financial assistance to individuals and families encountering unexpected hardship. To date, it has kept dozens of local residents from falling into homelessness.

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Los Angeles City Councilmember John Lee represents the Twelfth Council District in the Northwest San Fernando Valley which includes the communities of Northridge, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, North Hills,

West Hills, Porter Ranch, Sherwood Forest, and portions of Reseda.

Greg and Jodi Perlman have a long history of supporting individuals and organizations that are working to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. They founded The Change Reaction to provide immediate assistance to hardworking people experiencing financial hardship.

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