California small businesses to get additional relief of $500M

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

Small businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns can now apply for additional funding through a new California grant program, officials announced Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that $500 million in grant funds would be available for the businesses across the state. The financial help is meant to supplement aid offered through the federal stimulus bill President Trump signed on Sunday.

Businesses can apply to get funding through the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program’s website beginning Tuesday.

The relief will not be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, the statement said. Claims will not be reviewed until after the application deadline, on January 8 at 11:59 p.m.

The funding is meant to cover business expenses and is specifically for small organizations harmed by the pandemic, which has sickened more than 155,500 people and killed more than 1,500 in San Diego County as of Thursday.

The San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center , county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and The San Diego Foundation joined forces to make sure business owners and non-profit leaders can access the available resources, the press release said.

Fletcher, who co-chairs the county’s COVID-19 subcommittee, said the effort aims to deliver funding, information and technical support to businesses and nonprofits in San Diego County.

“It’s been a very difficult year for the business community, particularly our small businesses; that is the reason we have worked hard to provide relief and help during this difficult time,” Fletcher said in the press statement.

“The $500 million in grants from the State of California and the federal government’s renewal of (the Paycheck Protection Program), and the rollout of grants for live venues will be vital to the recovery of San Diego County businesses in the New Year.”

The San Diego and Imperial SBDC Network provides free business advice to local entrepreneurs and includes nine service partners in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Its Regional Director, Daniel Fitzgerald, said his team of more than 100 business advisors already have given some 20,000 hours of one-on-one assistance this year, helping small business owners access disaster assistance and get through the pandemic.

“With the new state and federal programs, our team will be ready and available to help small businesses who continue to need our help,” Fitzgerald said.

On a federal level, the new $900 billion stimulus package includes additional assistance for local businesses, including more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Businesses that have not yet received a PPP loan can apply again and receive a sum equal to 2.5 times their monthly payroll.

For those that have already received a PPP loan, an additional loan is available if the business has experienced a decrease in revenue of at least 25 percent.

Certain industries, such as restaurants and hospitality that have been more drastically impacted by the pandemic, can receive up to 3.5 times their monthly payroll.

And about $15 billion in grants have been set aside for live venues, including theaters and museums, the majority of which have remained closed during the pandemic.

Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The San Diego Foundation, said he hopes the state and federal aid will assist nonprofits and local businesses to stay afloat as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.

“The new state and federal funding measures are an opportunity to bolster the nonprofit sector as it continues to provide much-needed relief for San Diegans impacted by COVID-19,” Stuart said in the statement.

“We will educate and inform San Diego nonprofits about the SBDC services and training available to them to assist in application development so we can bring federal and state funds home to San Diego to help our community.”

For the past 45 years, The San Diego Foundation and its donors have granted more than $1.3 billion to support nonprofits and strengthen the San Diego community.

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