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There is still considerable confusion about whether venture-backed startups are eligible to apply for the $349 billion in forgivable loans being furiously doled out by the Small Business Administration. But there's also another more complicated ethical question being debated on social media and within the startup community: Should they apply? Senior reporter Ben Bergman looks at both sides. Let us know what you think.

We heard from three startups working to stem the effects of the pandemic at our first virtual pitch showcase today. You can catch video from the presentations here. We've also just lined up our next strategy session for Tuesday, April 14, focused on companies working in the health space. Register here!

Should Startups Apply for Taxpayer-Funded Aid?

Venture-backed businesses, like others, are being deeply hurt by the COVID-19 crisis, and their employees could be at risk of losing their jobs without an influx of cash. But is it unfair for companies that have access to investor cash to expect taxpayers to bail them out when things go south? Read more >>

Lessons Learned From the Economic Collapse of 9/11

AltaSea CEO Timothy B. McOsker may be a tycoon of industry now, but back in 2001 he was the chief of staff to L.A. Mayor James Hahn when the 9/11 attacks took place. "Like today," he writes, "there was no road map for how to respond, but a great need to respond quickly and decisively." Most importantly, the mayor's team thought long and hard about "when and how to urge people to get back to 'normal.'" Read his piece here >>

Watch: 3 Startups Pitch Ideas to Combat COVID-19

We hosted our first virtual pitch showcase Thursday featuring three startups looking to have a positive impact on the current COVID-19 crisis. Founding entrepreneurs from Flowly, Shared Harvest Fund and Meal Share talked through their business plans, shared decks and explained their market strategy. Watch the video here >>

dot.LA Strategy Session: Venture on the Frontline of COVID-19

How are investors directing capital to the health startups that will change the post-pandemic world? As the health space rises in prominence — both to address the immediate crisis and to build tools for the longer term — players are facing new challenges and opportunities. Please join us on April 14th @ 11 am PST as dot.LA reporter Rachel Uranga leads a virtual roundtable with an all-star lineup of industry leaders. Register here. Space is limited!

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