The first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is now open. On November 30, 2020, Governor Newsom and the State Legislature announced the allocation of $500 million available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by California's Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
“Small business owners and our nonprofits serve as the economic heart of every California community,” said Governor Newsom. “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.”
Grants will not be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and will be awarded after the close of each application round. This first round of applications ends January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Details for the second round will be announced shortly.
“Inclusive, equitable relief is fundamental to the small business support developed by this administration,” said Isabel Guzman, CalOSBA Director. “This grant program provides that support through a network of Community Development Financial Institutions and Community Based Organizations ensuring reach to those highly impacted small businesses in disadvantaged communities, underserved small business groups, and industries disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.”
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Lendistry has been designated by the State to act as the intermediary for the Program to disburse the grant funds.
“As an organization dedicated to efficiently providing capital to underserved small businesses, and with a deeply experienced senior management team that mirrors the diversity of our home state of California, Lendistry is proud to partner with the CalOSBA in this bold and critical effort,” said Everett K. Sands, Lendistry’s founder and CEO. “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Lendistry has assisted 20,000 small businesses in a dozen states and deployed nearly a half-billion dollars in capital, and we are bringing the full force of our technology, expertise and relationships with partner CDFIs and community organizations to bear on CalOSBA’s landmark commitment to California’s small businesses.”
The Program will prioritize distribution based on priority key factors, including the following:
- Geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions following California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, county status and the new Regional Stay-at-Home Order which can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
- Industry sectors most impacted by the pandemic
- 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)
The SBDC is hosting almost daily webinars to help businesses prepare for the application process. CLICK HERE to access recordings in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Arabic, Armenian, Korean and Tagalog.
A video explaining the application process specifically for non-profit organizations is available on YouTube. CLICK HERE to view the recording.