California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
Grants of $2,500 for microbusinesses who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Eligible use of grant awards include:
- The purchase of new certified equipment including, but not limited to, a cart.
- Investment in working capital.
- Application for, or renewal of, a local permit including, but not limited to, a permit to operate as a sidewalk vendor.
- Payment of business debt accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or business interruptions orclosures incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (MBCRG) was created in 2021 within the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) to assist qualified California microbusinesses that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with grants in the amount of $2,500 to each eligible microbusiness that is selected for an award.
Since March 2020, and despite federal stimulus and small business efforts to pivot, adapt to new health and safety guidance, and shift to online sales where feasible, many small businesses continue to face enormous risks to their comeback.
Hardest hit are those microbusinesses that are in geographically dispersed counties or industries severely impacted by COVID-19 health and safety orders.
The County of Santa Clara, The Enterprise Foundation, and Access SBDC shall prioritize outreach and marketing efforts to qualified microbusinesses which meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The owner of the microbusiness is a member of a group that has faced historic barriers in accessing capital and is defined as business majority owned and operated on a daily basis by women, minorities or persons of color, veterans, undocumented individuals, and individuals living in low-wealth or rural areas on low incomes.
- The microbusiness has suffered economic impacts or revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The microbusiness is a sidewalk vendor.
The MBCRG (Santa Clara County) will be expressly for microbusinesses and administered by the Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) through the County of Santa Clara and Enterprise Foundation that will disperse the funds to microbusinesses within Santa Clara County.
Grants will be disbursed on a first come first serve basis.
A microbusiness must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a COVID-19 Relief grant from the County of Santa Clara:
- Must meet the definition of an eligible microbusiness.
- Active businesses operating since at least December 2019.
- The microbusiness is currently active and operating or has a clear plan to reopen when the state permits reopening of the business.
- The microbusiness was significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
- The microbusiness had less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in revenues in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 taxable years.
- The microbusiness currently has fewer than five full-time equivalent employees and had fewer than five full-time equivalent employees in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 taxable years.
- The microbusiness is not a business excluded from participation in the California Small Business Relief Grant.
- Businesses without a physical location in California
- Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19)
- Government entities (other than Native American tribes) or elected official offices
- Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19))
- Passive businesses, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns
- Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19)) , other than a school, child care, or other educational business affiliated where (i) greater than 50% of the gross annual revenue is derived from the school, child care facility or educational business and (ii) the grant will be used only for eligible costs and expenses directly related to the school, child care, or other educational business, and no portion of the grant will be used for any normal profit or overhead of the church or other religious institution
- Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies
- Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law
- 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
- 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
- Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity
- Speculative businesses
- “Affiliated” companies (as such term is defined in 13 C.F.R. § 121.103)
- 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
- 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 anti-trust 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
If you are able to certify that you meet the eligibility requirements expressed above, please read the following section before applying.
Your business MUST meet the following 6 requirements to be eligible for this grant. A non-eligible business will not receive grant funding from this program.
*Please review the application questions carefully. For Yes and No questions, Yes = True and No = False.
- I have been in business, selling products or services, since 2019.
- This business been my main income source.
- My business’ gross annual revenue for 2019 , 2020 and 2021 was under $50,000.
- My business has had less than 5 full time equivalent employees since 2019.
- I have NOT received a California Small Business Relief Grant.
- I can provide any of the following options to demonstrate eligibility as a qualified business owner:
- A local business permit or license
- A business bank statement
- A business tax return
- A trade account statement; or
- A third-party verification
APPLY FOR THE GRANT
Grants of $2,500 for microbusinesses to recover from economic injuries imposed by the effects of COVID-19.
For additional application assistance, please call our office directly at (408) 385-9800.