Second Application Round Opens for California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

Feb 2, 2021 | CalOSBA, Press Release

Application period ends February 8
Free application webinars offered daily in several languages

Sacramento, CA – California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), today announced that Round 2 of the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is open.

The $500 million program is intended for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Grants range in size from $5,000 to $25,000. Approximately half of the available funds were awarded in Round 1, with disbursement beginning January 22, and the remainder will be awarded to eligible businesses in this second round. The application portal opened at 8:00 a.m. today and will remain open through 6:00 p.m. February 8. Eligible applicants who submitted all necessary documents in Round 1, but did not receive a grant, will be rolled over for consideration in this second round – there is no need to reapply.

“What we are seeing is an unprecedented, urgent need,” said Dee Dee Myers, Director of GO-Biz. “Millions of hardworking Californians, who provide jobs to millions more, need help. Inclusive, equitable relief is fundamental to the small business support this state is providing. Surveys find that without additional funding, more than one in three small business owners will not survive past the next three months, including an astounding 32% of Latinx-owned and 41% of Black-owned businesses. This grant program serves to address an immediate need, but there is so much more that needs to be done. We look forward to the additional grants and loans proposed by the Biden Administration.”

California’s small businesses employ nearly half of the state’s private sector workforce and create two-thirds of new jobs. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, studies showed small businesses were facing low cash flow levels – estimating nearly half of all small businesses had only two weeks of cash flow pre-pandemic.

CalOSBA is pleased to share preliminary data from the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program’s first round of recipients:

  • 77% of selected applicants went to underserved & disadvantaged small businesses, which are businesses owned by minority, women, veteran, or businesses located in rural, low-to-moderate income (LMI), low-wealth, and rural communities (applicant may fit into more than one category).
    • 53% of selected applicants are minority-owned businesses,
    • 49% of selected applicants are women-owned businesses,
    • 14% of selected applicants are business owners in rural areas, and
    • 58% of selected applicants are business owners in low-to-moderate income areas.
  • 61% of selected applicants are business owners in highly impacted industries including personal care, restaurant & other eating places, child daycare services, retail clothing stores, & specialty foods.
  • Small businesses or non-profits in all 58 counties received awards.

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant 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.

Kaitlin Lewis
Assistant Deputy Director of Communications
Email Kaitlin, HERE 
Phone: (916) 204-2107

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