(LOS ANGELES) – The Change Reaction, a Los Angeles based charitable foundation revolutionizing philanthropic giving, today announced it passed a significant milestone in Los Angeles with $1 million in zero-interest loans, and direct assistance to small businesses in Los Angeles. Additionally, over the past year, The Change Reaction has given over $1.5 million in direct grants to more than 1,300 individuals and families for a total of $2.5 million moved to those most in need.
Founded by Greg and Jodi Perlman, The Change Reaction connects the very wealthy with those most in need, sparking a chain reaction of good that provides donors the opportunity to give directly to people in their community, transforming lives and restoring peoples’ faith in humanity.
“One million dollars for small businesses is a significant milestone, but we are just getting started,” said founder Greg Perlman. “Our goal is to completely upend the way the wealthy think about charity and to directly connect them with those in need. I believe that when people give out of a sense of fulfillment rather than guilt, they will give more. That’s why we have committed to distributing $10 million per year directly to those in need. We have a long way to go to meet that goal and my challenge to the wealthy reading this is: if you won’t step up now when our country faces crises on multiple levels, then when will you?”
In partnership with several LA City Council members , The Change Reaction has established Small Business Relief Funds for those who have been affected by disasters such as fires and Covid-19. These partnerships have allowed elected officials to access private sector dollars and circumvent delays and red tape which has helped streamline approvals, cut down on overhead, and moved money to people in need faster than ever before.
“Thanks to the generosity of Greg and Jodi Perlman and their nonprofit The Change Reaction, our community’s small businesses have a fighting chance against the economic devastation caused by COVID-19,” said 12th District Councilmember John Lee. “I’m so grateful for their partnership, which has already saved countless local businesses and jobs here in the northwest San Fernando Valley, where the program first began.”
The Change Reaction’s goal is to move quickly and ensure that small businesses can survive the myriad challenges that have been thrown their way in 2020. Here are several small business owner’s personal experiences receiving The Change Reaction small business loans.
Jaime Carvajal, Owner of 30-year-old downtown Los Angeles restaurant, El Diablo:
“I didn’t get a lot of help from the government. I applied in the beginning and at that time they were giving money to bigger companies but they forgot about the little businesses. With The Change Reaction, there was communication from the beginning and it was so fast. We got funded very quickly. I needed funds for inventory to run my business, and without The Change Reaction I probably would have closed my three restaurants by now.”
Frank Oliver, Life Tree Learning Center:
“As we were going through the process of securing federal funding there were so many blocks and obstacles that it was insurmountable. We thought we were going to close our doors and our dreams were going to die. The Change Reaction made us feel like we were doing significant work no matter the size of our business. They gave us dignity and made the process smooth and seamless.”
Jerald Neely, Neely’s Educational Materials and Supplies:
“The process was very straightforward and easy to navigate which allowed me to move forward with my application quickly. We are very thankful for the assistance from Councilman Price and The Change Reaction. Government funding has been slow and cumbersome. They don’t seem to understand the challenges that small businesses are facing right now, however The Change Reaction took the time to understand my needs. They processed the application fast and supported my small business here in SoCal.”
Talisha Oliver, Good Tree Productions:
“The Change Reaction has been the easiest to deal with and the most straightforward. With other funding channels we would complete applications and be notified of approval but then get emails later stating our approvals were in error. It’s been horrible dealing with everyone else but The Change Reaction has been great.”
Mike Rosales, Second Wind Sports:
“What made the process different is the speed in which my application was processed. From filling out the forms, to receiving the initial contact, to funding, it was all seamless. It shows that the people involved are doing what they do because they believe in supporting the micro-businesses that would otherwise fall through the seams. Everyone I had contact with had one agenda: get me funded as quickly as possible.”
Leonardo Silva, American Windows and Glass:
“When I applied for government funds, I applied online. There was no communication, no phone calls and no questions about my history with my business. When I applied to The Change Reaction the people there cared so much about my business and our success. They really wanted to learn how Covid impacted us. They really cared to see my business survive and they funded me quickly.”
The Change Reaction has also created partnerships with 35 non-profit partners known as Change Agents - to identify and vet worthy recipients. As a result, through these partnerships, the Change Reaction is able to distribute smaller amounts in the form of direct grants quickly to those in need. The average grant is around $1,250 and over $1.6 million has been distributed this year.
Quick Stats on The Change Reaction’s giving in 2020:
- $2.5 Million in Total Giving in Los Angeles in 2020.
- Average Small Business Loan: $12,000. Average turnaround time: 3 days.
- Average Direct Grant: $1,250. Average Turnaround time: 2 days.
- Over 1,300 Direct Grants through 35 Change Agent Partners.
- Over $1.1 Million in Zero-Interest Small Business Loans to 87 businesses in the city of Los Angeles. $1.4 million total small business loans when including communities outside of L.A.
- Over $1.6 Million in Direct Grants to individuals for needs such as rent and utility assistance, furnishings, and car repairs.