November 23, 2023
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Pandemic relief grants available for SLO businesses


A public-private partnership in San Luis Obispo began accepting applications Aug. 10 for $260,000 in small business relief grants.

The money will go to 52 local businesses, with each one receiving $5,000, according to a city news release. The application period opens at 11 a.m. on Aug. 10 and will remain open until Aug. 24. Eligible businesses can apply through the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce at, though they do not need to be chamber members to be eligible.

Eligible businesses must be located in the city of San Luis Obispo and locally owned and operated; must have 25 or fewer employees; and must have experienced a significant decline in revenues between January and June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants can be used to pay for rent, utilities, payroll, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, capital improvements to comply with public health guidelines, outstanding debts to vendors incurred after March 1, and other immediate operational costs.  

The bulk of the funding, $200,000, comes from the city’s share of its federal CARES Act funding. Two private donors have also provided a combined $60,000.

“The economic impacts of COVID-19 on our local business community are unprecedented,” Derek Johnson, San Luis Obispo’s city manager, said in the news release. “This program, a true partnership between the city, business and nonprofit communities, provides relief to some of those impacted the most so we can start to recover together, as a community.”