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CA Covid Relief Grants - Apply by Jan 13, 2021

California offers special Covid Relief Grants up to $25,000 for Certain Small Businesses

NOTE: The application deadline has been extended from January 8 to January 13th as of 1/4/2021. 

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (the “Program”) provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.

Please note- this is a limited pool of funds provided by the state and awards are not guaranteed.

Awards will be made based on a set of criteria established by the state. See below for more details about award criteria, the application process and where to apply. 

Grant Determination Process

Eligible businesses will be scored based on COVID-19 impact factors incorporated into the Program’s priority criteria.

The Program will prioritize distribution based on 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)

Full Program Details are available at https://careliefgrant.com/

Partners accepting applications under this program are listed for each county. 

Napa County's list of partners is available here.

The Napa County SBDC Center (which is authorized to accept online applications) can be reached here

Visit https://asksbdc.com/california-relief-grant/ for more details from the SBDC.   

According to the SBDC website: 

"The California SBDC network is your committed business partner and we’re standing by to help you apply for this grant opportunity. We will help you prepare for the application and ensure you have all the needed documentation to be successful in the process."

"Northern and Central California Businesses
For quicker assistance, fill out the client intake form: financing-simplified.com/start and a member of the NorCal SBDC Finance Center team will reach out to you as soon as possible."

Amount of Grant

Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $25,000. The grant amount for which a business is eligible is based on its gross annual revenue, as documented on its most recent tax return.

Owners of multiple businesses, franchises, locations, etc. will be considered for only one grant and are required to apply for their business with the highest revenue.

Eligible Business Gross Annual Revenue Grant Amount Available
Annual gross revenue of at least $1,000 up to $100,000 $5,000
Annual gross revenue greater than $100,000 up to $1,000,000 $15,000
Annual gross revenue greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000 $25,000

Which California Businesses are  Eligible to Apply

The business must have a physical California Location. 

"A small business or small nonprofit must satisfy the following additional criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award:

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 re-open 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 2018 or 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" 

Eligible Costs (covered by the Grant)

Eligible costs are only those costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following are the eligible uses of grant funds:

  • All employee expenses including payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • Working capital, overhead (including rent, utilities, mortgage principal and interest payments (excluding mortgage prepayments)), debt payments (principal and interest) incurred before March 1, 2020;
  • Costs associated with re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and business closures;
  • Costs associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, including but not limited to equipment, plexiglass barriers, outdoor dining, PPE supplies, testing, and employee training expenses; or
  • Any other COVID-19 related expenses not already covered through grants, forgivable loans or other relief through federal, state, county or city programs.


Application Requirements

Businesses will need to provide the following items at different stages of the application process. Step-by-step instructions are included in the Application Instructions, here. 

  • Complete a grant application (made available through an online portal);
  • Upload selected financial and organizational documents; and
  • Self-certify the accuracy of information by signing a certification.

The following information is required from all applicants in Stage 1:

  • A copy of the signed certification form referenced above.
  • Most recent tax return filed, or for nonprofit entities, IRS Form 990 filed (2019 or 2018) – provided in an electronic form for online upload, such as PDF/JPEG or other approved upload format.
  • An acceptable form of government-issued photo ID, provided in an electronic form for online upload, such as PDF/JPEG or other approved upload format.

Once selected for funding, applicants will be required to provide additional documentation as set forth below and re-certify to the accuracy of information provided. 

The following information is required from all applicants in Stage 2:

  • Copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State (which must be active), if applicable or local municipality for your business such as one of the following, which must be provided in electronic format for upload, such as PDF/JPEG or other approved upload format:
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Certificate of Organization
    • Fictitious Name of Registration
    • Government-issued Business License
  • For eligible nonprofit entity applicants, a copy of the entity’s most recent IRS tax exemption letter.
  • Verification of bank account via electronic registration or other approved review process.

Stay current on evolving relief options. 

See our summary of the latest PPP2 loan details and other updates as they happen here

Please reach out if we can help you in any way!  

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Please note our New Downtown Napa Address:

1000 Main Street, Suite 250
Napa, CA 94559 

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