By Raiza Giorgi

*Update* The State of California has extended the deadline for applications through January 13.

“In order to handle the continued high volumes, we are making adjustments to the update and order process. If applicants experienced disruptions in the application process, they will be notified when they can log back in for updates and uploads”.

The State of California published their website today detailing the new California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program that will start taking applications on December 30.

The creation of the $500 million COVID Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) will be targeting small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.

The amount of grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Businesses are eligible based on their annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return.

Businesses revenue $1,000 to $100,000 could be eligible for a $5,000 grant; Greater than $100,000 up to $1,000,000 could receive $15,000 and Greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000 could receive $25,000.

Applications open at 8 a.m. on December 30 and close at 11:59 p.m. on January 8. Approvals will be sent starting January 13, and if a business isn’t selected they will also be notified and rolled into the next funding opportunity at a later date, according to CalOSBA during their Zoom meeting.

An eligible small business means sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work, and or registered “for-profit” business entity (e.g., C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership) that has yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue based on most recently filed tax return; or a “small nonprofit” registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit entity having yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue based on most recently filed Form 990).

Businesses and/or nonprofits had to be established and in operation since June 1, 2019 to qualify.

Owners of multiple businesses, franchises, locations, etc. will be considered for only one grant and are required to apply for the business with the highest revenue, and applications should be submitted through Google Chrome for the easiest navigation.

Necessary documents for the grant include Government Issued Photo ID and latest filed tax returns – 2018 or 2019. Copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License.

“There will be very high demand for this program, so if you are eligible and considering applying, I would recommend preparing your application now,” said Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann in her email to constituents Wednesday evening.

Grant applications will be reviewed to determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility requirements. Eligible businesses will then be scored based on COVID-19 impact factors incorporated into the Program’s priority criteria so that distribution can take into account priority key factors, including the following:
1. Geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions following California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and county status and the new Regional Stay At Home Order;
2. Industry sectors most impacted by the pandemic; and
3. Underserved small business groups served by the State supported network of small business centers (i.e., businesses majority owned and run on a daily basis by women, minorities/persons of color, veterans and businesses located in low-to-moderate income and rural communities). 

For more information about the Grant Program visit