The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) announced Monday that the deadline has been extended for small businesses to apply for economic relief grants of up to $25,000.
The grant program was announced last month with an original application window of December 30 to January 8, offering $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible businesses. While likely just a small Band-Aid for most businesses that have been sliding deeper into debt over the last few months, these state-sponsored grants offer struggling restaurants, gyms, and even non-profit organizations in California at least a bit of relief.
The first-phase application deadline was extended Monday to January 13 due to reported high website traffic that may have made it difficult for some businesses to get applications in over the last few days.
"Adjustments to the program’s website have been made and the application period has been extended to ensure that all interested applicants have the opportunity to apply," said Go-Biz in a press release.
Eligible businesses must prove that they had less than $2.5 million in gross annual revenue in 2018 or 2019, and that they have been in business since at least June 1, 2019. The $500 million pool of grant money is targeting "underserved micro and small businesses," and it is not a first-come, first-served thing. Applications will go through a review process, and some non-profits will be eligible.
As the SF Business Times reports, the state’s Office of the Small Business Advocate will be evaluating applications based on a "score" that prioritizes "industries most impacted by the pandemic, geography based on areas impacted by regional stay-at-home orders, and if the business is part of an underserved group, such as being majority-owned by women, people of color, veterans or located in a low-income community."
Businesses can now apply here, and they do so by submitting tax returns, articles of incorporations, and some other items.
The first grants may begin being awarded as early as January 15, with some applications beginning the review process this week.
Top image: The mural on the parklet at Joe's Liquor and Deli on 11th Street. Photo and artwork by Elliott C. Nathan