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Small businesses can apply April 28-May 4 for up to $25K in California COVID-19 relief grants

April 21, 2021 22734

Quick Summary:

Businesses that are impacted by COVID-19 and pandemic-related health and safety restrictions are eligible for grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 if they have been in business since June 1, 2019, and are open currently or have a plan to reopen. Eligible waitlisted applicants do not need to reapply.

New applicants who meet eligibility criteria can apply Wednesday, April 28, through Thursday, May 4, for round 6 of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Round 6 is also open to small businesses and nonprofits that applied during any previous round (1-5) but were not selected. Eligible waitlisted applicants do not need to reapply; instead, they will move automatically into round 6 for consideration.

Businesses that are impacted by COVID-19 and pandemic-related health and safety restrictions are eligible for grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 if they have been in business since June 1, 2019, and are open currently or have a plan to reopen. The business’s annual gross revenue during the 2019 tax year determines the grant award. For example, businesses with annual gross revenue between $1,000 and $100,000 are eligible to receive a $5,000 grant.

California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate administers the program, which received an additional $2.1 billion through the state-funded COVID-19 relief package Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in late February. CalOSBA in early March announced four new rounds of funding for the program, with rounds 5 and 6 open to eligible first-time applicants, as CDA previously reported. Rounds 1 and 2 were funded through the state package signed last December. 

Lendistry, the state-designated intermediary, reviews applications to determine eligibility and consults with CalOSBA to award grants that prioritize several factors, including geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. 

Businesses can use the grant funds to cover costs they incurred due to pandemic-related health and safety restrictions, including business interruptions. Eligible use includes, but is not limited to:

  • All employee expenses, including payroll costs and paid sick, medical or family leave
  • Rent, utilities, mortgage principal and interest payments and debt obligations incurred before March 1, 2020
  • Costs associated with complying with federal, state or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols such as PPE supplies, testing, employee training and equipment

CalOSBA last month released preliminary data for rounds 1 and 2 that show selected applicants by industry and demographics. Small businesses or nonprofits in all 58 California counties were selected to receive a grant with 64.8% of grants going to applicants located in low- to moderate-income communities, for example. 

Apply April 28-May 4 for round 6 of the relief grant and read the all-business application guide for application tips, FAQ and details about eligibility, application certification and more.