November 23, 2023
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Deadline approaching for final round of state pandemic relief grants


Closed restaurants in Ventura early in the pandemic. Small businesses whose operations were closed or interrupted by the pandemic are eligible for state grants of up to $25,000. (file photo)

The clock is ticking for qualified small businesses and nonprofits looking to get a financial boost from the final round of the California COVID-19 pandemic relief grant program.

Applications for the ninth round of the state’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant will be accepted until Sept. 30. Eligible businesses must be affected by the pandemic and related safety and health restrictions, such as closures or interruptions.

“It’s important for businesses to take an opportunity to apply and be able to access this grant because it’s a difficult time,” said Alondra Gaytán, client services manager at the Small Business Development Center at the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County.

The state also extended the application period for the eighth round of its COVID-19 Relief Grant program for nonprofit cultural institutions until Sep. 30. The program will support eligible nonprofits of any revenue size, according to the state’s website.

As of Sept. 21, no other additional rounds of funding are planned.

While difficult times continue to persist, everything the state can do to minimize the COVID-19-related economic damage is in the best interest of businesses, said Jacqui Clark-Charlesworth, director of communications at the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

“Like so many, we had high hopes that by now we would be well on our way into the recovery,” Clark-Charlesworth said. “It’s unfortunate that the business community continues to struggle due to the ongoing impacts on the pandemic.”

Round 9 of the business relief grants is available to new applicants and wait-listed applicants from previous rounds. Eligible businesses may receive a grant ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, based on annual revenue as documented in the applicant’s most recent tax return. Nonprofit cultural institutions that did not receive funding in previous rounds can also get grants between $5,000 and $25,000.

The grant funding is not being issued on a first-come, first-served basis. “It’s more of a lottery in a sense,” Gaytán said.

The program is administered by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, which is part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

California’s intermediary in the program, Lendistry, will process the applications and will distribute grants on behalf of the state to approved small businesses and nonprofits. Potential applicants can find more information at

The EDC SBDC is a partner of the state’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant program, and available to help applicants who have general questions about the program of applying. Potential applicants can call 805-409-9159 for assistance.