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California COVID-19 relief grant reopens to qualified small businesses Sept. 9-30

Grants up to $25K awarded to businesses that experienced pandemic-related restrictions, increased costs

September 09, 2021 15262
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Quick Summary:

Round 9 is the final round of the $4 billion program, which received an additional $1.5 billion through the state budget signed by Gov. Newsom in June. Round 9 is open to first-time and waitlisted applicants. Qualified businesses may receive a grant of between $5,000 and $25,000 depending on the business’s annual revenue as documented in the applicant’s most recent tax return.

Qualified small business owners in California, including dentists, who have experienced pandemic-related health and safety restrictions, such as business interruptions or closures or increased PPE costs, can apply Sept. 9-30 for a California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant. 

Round 9 is the final round of the $4 billion program, which received an additional $1.5 billion through the state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in June. It’s also the first time since round 6 in April that the program will accept new applications from qualified small businesses. Rounds 7 and 8 were open only to waitlisted applicants or nonprofit cultural institutions. Waitlisted applicants from rounds 1-3 and 5-7 will be moved into round 9 automatically for consideration. 

Nearly 5,000 dental practice applicants have received grant funding totaling over $84 billion as of September 2021, with most awards going to applicants in rounds 5 and 6, according to data released by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Grants between $5K and $25K will be awarded

Qualified businesses may receive a grant of between $5,000 and $25,000 depending on the business’s annual revenue as documented in the applicant’s most recent tax return. For example, businesses with reported gross revenue of between $100,000 and $1,000,000 are eligible to receive a $15,000 grant.

A qualified small business may be a sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 employee, C- or S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership or limited partnership. Small businesses will only be considered for the grant if they are currently open or have a plan to reopen, as permitted by the state, have a physical address in California (referenced on business tax returns) and began operating prior to June 1, 2019.

California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate administers the program, and Lendistry, the state-designated intermediary, will review applications to determine eligibility and consult with CalOSBA to award grants based on priority, including geographical distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions.

Certain industries and geographic areas determined to be impacted the most by state and local pandemic closure orders are expected to receive the highest priority for grant awards, as outlined under "eligibility." 

Employee expenses, overhead and other eligible uses of funds

Eligible uses of grant funds include only business costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic such as:

  • Payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical or family leave and other employee expenses.
  • Rent, utilities, mortgage principal and interest payments, debt obligations incurred before March 2020 and other working capital and overhead.
  • Costs associated with complying with federal, state or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, such as PPE supplies, employee COVID-19 testing and employee training.
  • Costs associated with reopening business operations after full or partial closure due to state-mandated COVID-19-related closures.

Selecting and applying through a partner

Applicants will need to apply for a grant through a partner that serves the applicant’s language or county. One to several partners will be available to each applicant.
Complete details on eligibility, allowable use of funds, required application documents and directions for selecting a partner and submitting an application are available in the program overview and application guide.