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The sixth and final round of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens April 28-May 4, 2021. The program is funded by the State of California and administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (the “Program”) provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small manufacturers impacted by COVID-19.
The state has designated Lendistry, a CDFI and CDE small business lender, to act as the intermediary for the Program to disburse the grant funds. While application for previous rounds have closed, Round 6 is right around the corner.
The upcoming round of California’s small business COVID relief program is open to new applicants.
Eligible applicants include currently waitlisted small businesses and/or nonprofits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, 3, or 5 who will automatically move into Round 6. They do not need to re-apply.
New applicants that meet eligibility criteria can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Businesses are eligible based on their annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return. Owners of multiple businesses, franchises, locations, etc., will be considered for only one grant and are required to apply for the business with the highest revenue.
What criteria must a small business or small nonprofit satisfy to be eligible to receive a grant award?
To be eligible to receive a grant award, a small business or small nonprofit :
1. Must meet the definition of an “eligible small business”. An “eligible small business” means (i) a “small business” (sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work, and or registered “for-profit” business entity (e.g., C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership) that has yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed tax return) or (ii) a “small nonprofit” (registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(19), or 501(c)(6) nonprofit entity having yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed Form 990)
2. Active businesses or nonprofits operating since at least June 1, 2019
3. Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to reopen once the State of California permits re-opening of the business
4. Business must be impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
5. Business must be able to provide organizing documents including 2019 tax returns or Form 990s, copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License
6. Business must be able to provide acceptable form of government-issued photo ID
7. Applicants with multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue.
How will grant recipients be determined?
Grants will be prioritized, to the extent permissible under state and federal equal protection laws, in accordance with the following criteria:
1. Geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions following California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and county status and the Regional Stay at Home Order.
2. Industry sectors most impacted by the pandemic, including, but not limited to, those identified as in the North American Industry Classification System codes beginning with:
61 – Educational Services
71 – Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
72 – Accommodation and Food Services
315 – Apparel Manufacturing
448 – Clothing and Clothing Accessory Stores
451 – Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores
485 – Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
487 – Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation
512 – Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries
812 – Personal and Laundry Services
5111 – Newspaper, Periodical, Book and Directory Publishers
3. Nonprofit mission services most impacted by the pandemic, including, but not limited to, emergency food provisions, emergency housing stability, childcare, and workforce development.
4. Disadvantaged communities tracked by socioeconomic indicators that may include, but are not limited to, low to moderate income, poverty rates, unemployment, educational attainment, and other disadvantageous factors that limit access to capital and other resources.
Grants to eligible nonprofit cultural institutions will be prioritized on documented percentage revenue declines based on a reporting period comparing Q2 and Q3 of 2020 versus Q2 and Q3 of 2019.
Who is ineligible to apply?
1. Businesses without a physical location in California
2. Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(19), or 501(c)(6)
3. Government entities (other than Native American tribes) or elected official offices
4. Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(19), or 501(c)(6))
5. Passive businesses, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
6. Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(19), or 501(c)(6))
7. Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies
8. Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law
9. Businesses of a prurient sexual nature, including businesses which present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature
10. Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses
11. Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity
12. Speculative businesses
13. Businesses of which any owner of greater than 10% of the equity interest in it (i) has within the prior three-years been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against such owner, or has had commenced any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment), for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, state or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or state antitrust or procurement statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property, or (ii) is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a government entity, (federal, state or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in subparagraph (i) above
14. “Affiliated” companies (as such term is defined in 13 C.F.R. § 121.103)
Documentation needed includes:
1. Application Certification: Signed certification used to certify your business
2. Business Financial Information: Most recent tax return filed (2019), Copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State.
3. Government Issued Photo ID such as a Driver’s License or Passport
Lendistry is the sole entity designated as the Intermediary of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (the “Program”). This site (careliefgrant.com) and the other websites available on or through this site (the “Designated Sites”) are the only approved websites designated for the administration of the Program. Any other website purporting to administer or otherwise act as an Intermediary in connection with the Program may be fraudulent. As such, you should exercise extreme caution and avoid providing any information (personal or otherwise) in connection with the Program on or through any website other than the Designated Sites. Further, neither Lendistry nor any of its partners will charge any fees to apply for a relief grant under the Program and we recommend that you avoid any third-parties purporting to charge fees for you to apply.
Questions? The program’s call center is open 7am-7pm. 1-888-612-4370
To learn more: https://careliefgrant.com/webinars/
Ritu Marwah is an award winning author whose story Jinnah’s Daughter, featured in the New York Times’s Express Tribune blog, exemplifies her deep interest and understanding of history and the place of people in it.