Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley approved a new $40-million loan program Monday designed to aid the growth of small and medium-sized manufacturing firms in the city.
"Manufacturing businesses provide a significant number of jobs for low-to-moderate-income persons," Bradley said at a City Hall news conference.
The Common Bond Reserve Fund program is designed to preserve the city's 330,000 manufacturing jobs and allow those businesses to expand. Marilyn Lurie of the Community Development Department said two-thirds of those jobs are in economically depressed areas and are concentrated in the furniture, apparel and food-processing industries.
The new program, approved unanimously by the City Council last week and signed by Bradley on Monday, will enable companies to borrow money at the same low-interest rates usually reserved for larger, Fortune 500-type firms, the mayor said.
Small and medium-sized businesses concentrated in Los Angeles' poorest communities are being targeted for the loans. The program would require a company to create at least one new job for every $50,000 it borrows.
The city is investing $6 million to begin the program. Additional funds will be raised through the sale of bonds, backed by a letter of credit from Algemene Bank Nederland.