In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Free Loan Association ( JFLA) is offering no-fee, interest-free loans of up to $10,000. The loans are intended to cover such things as small business losses, lost wages from not going to work, child care costs when schools are closed, and funds lost due to canceled travel plans.
“The loans can be helpful to people because they’re interest free. It’s not a predatory loan. It’s access to clean capital that people can use for whatever they need,” JFLA Executive Director Rachel Grose told the Courier. “We’ve had a lot of requests in the last week. It’s probably a 100 percent increase in the last week. I do expect it to continue to increase.”
Loans can be turned around in a matter of days and JFLA is equipped to handle applications and process loans electronically and telephonically, not requiring an in-person interview. Historically, Grose said that JFLA has made hundreds of loans to Beverly Hills residents on an annual basis.
For over 115 years JFLA has offered interest-free loans on a non-sectarian basis to individuals and families whose needs are urgent and who may not qualify through normal financial channels. Those in need of assistance during this time may fill out applications at jfla.org.
“As Chair of the Human Relations Commission (HRC), I want to make sure our residents know of every opportunity that is available to assist them financially,” Ori Blumenfeld told the Courier. “With parents out of work and at home taking care of their children,all financial help should be made available to them.”
Blumenfeld said he first encountered JFLA as a law student needing assistance to repay his tuition. As HRC Chair, Blumenfeld said he renewed contact with the association after it applied for Community Assistance Grant Funding in order to help the association raise more funds to make more emergency loans. The HRC, along with the City’s Charitable Solicitations Commission, will review JFLA’s application for funding recommendations.
“It is so important that during this time that these loans reach as many people as possible that require them while they are out of work, whether or not they are caring for their children,” Blumenfeld added.
Those in need of extra assistance can also avail themselves of the Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN), which has launched an emergency relief program. It can be accessed at IsraelUSA.org/help.
“We’re here to help the community,” said ICAN Chief Advocacy Officer Dillon Hosier. “ICAN can connect you to resources that may be able to provide short-term assistance for food, housing or small businesses.”