July 16, 2024
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State launches $500M relief program for small businesses


The first round of applications for California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opened Dec. 30, a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state was giving $500 million in grants to small businesses and nonprofits.

“Small business owners and our nonprofits serve as the economic heart of every California community,” Newsom said in a news release. “This grant program isn’t the end, it’s the beginning. It’s a bridge to help the millions of Californians, whose dreams and livelihoods are now on the line, as we work with the State Legislature to create additional support.”

The grants are not being issued on a first-come, first-served basis, according to California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, which is part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. CalOBSA is administering the program. The first round of applications closes Jan. 8. Information about the second round has not been announced yet.

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is offering grants from $5,000 to $25,000. Lendistry is acting as the intermediary to distribute the funds.

The program will prioritize which organizations get grants based on several factors, including: geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions; industry, with emphasis placed on those most impacted by the pandemic; underserved small business groups served by state-supported small business centers.

“Inclusive, equitable relief is fundamental to the small business support developed by this administration,” Isabel Guzman, CalOSBA Director, said in a news release.