Office of the Small Business Advocate Announces New Funding Rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

Jul 29, 2021 | CalOSBA, Press Release

The additional $1.5 billion expansion, for a total of $4 billion, makes California’s small business relief program the largest in the country
The funding will support small businesses and nonprofits that have struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
New applications will be accepted starting September 9th

Sacramento, CA – California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), announced today that there will be three additional rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program following Governor Gavin Newsom signing into law the largest economic recovery package in state history.

“With three new rounds to aid equitable economic recovery, California is keeping its promise to small businesses, families and individuals to push back on the pandemic-induced financial hardships and create the environment for small businesses to come back better than before,” said Tara Lynn Gray, Director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Guided by a principle of equity, the program provides a crucial financial recovery resource to traditionally underserved small businesses and nonprofits. As of today, in the first six funding rounds of the program, 180,939 small businesses and nonprofits have been awarded for a total of $2,034,395,811 in grant funding. Additional data can be found at https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/.

The additional $1.5 billion expansion, for a total of $4 billion, makes this the largest small business grant program of its kind in the country and provides grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The three new competitive funding rounds will be conducted by CalOSBA’s selected intermediary, Lendistry.

In accordance with the signed legislation (SB 151), there will be a closed round for existing eligible applicants who were waitlisted in previous rounds.  These applicants do not need to reapply. There will be at least one additional round for nonprofit cultural institutions. Additional information can be found at CAReliefGrant.com and below:


Round 7: Waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds

Selection Window: Tuesday, August 3 through Thursday, September 16

Eligible applicants: This is a closed round and only available to eligible applicants who were waitlisted in certain previous rounds.  Selection does not guarantee approval or an award. If you were waitlisted, you do not need to reapply. New applications will not be accepted in this round.

Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000

Details: This is a closed funding round; no new applications will be accepted.


Round 8: Nonprofit cultural institutions only

Application window: Friday, August 27 through Wednesday, September 8

Eligible applicants: Only nonprofit cultural institutions of any revenue size that meet eligibility criteria found at CAReliefGrant.com

Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000

Details: Approximately $16 million remain under the Nonprofit Cultural Institutions Program. Eligible nonprofit cultural institutions must complete a new application even if they already applied in Rounds 1, 2, 5 or 6; nonprofit cultural institutions that applied in Round 4 do not need to reapply.  Grants will only be available to nonprofit cultural institutions that did not receive funding in any previous rounds. Grants will be prioritized based on the documented percentage revenue declines based on a reporting period comparing Q2 and Q3 of 2020 versus Q2 and Q3 of 2019.


Round 9: New Applicants and Waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds

Application window: Thursday, September 9 through Thursday, September 30

Eligible applicants: Current waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria found at CAReliefGrant.com

Eligible grant award: $5,000 – $25,000

Details: Applicants not selected to move forward in the review process in Rounds 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, or 7 do not need to re-apply and will be automatically moved into Round 9. New applicants will need to apply at CAReliefGrant.com.

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is administered by CalOSBA through a competitive bid award to its intermediary, Lendistry, and its statewide network of community-based lenders and partners. Many of the state-supported small business centers, which prioritize the expansion of technical assistance to underserved business groups, are also available to help small businesses with the application process in multiple languages and formats.

For more information on grant requirements and eligibility, along with links to application tips and webinars, visit CAReliefGrant.com.

About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit the GO-Biz website.

About CalOSBA
The Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) helps support economic growth and innovation by working to ensure that California’s small businesses and entrepreneurs have the information, tools and resources they need to plan, launch, manage and grow their businesses successfully and be resilient. The CalOSBA serves to elevate their voices in state government and to advocate on their behalf to help ensure all aspiring and current small business owners and entrepreneurs are provided with the opportunity to access capital, access markets, and connect to the networks and resources they need to succeed. For more information visit the website.

Chris Dombrowski
Chief Deputy Director
Email Chris, HERE

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