If you are a small business owner who has fought to stay open this past year, kudos to you! Owning a business through this pandemic has been extremely trying. Like countless others, you may need additional funds so that you can continue to run your business successfully. If your business was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for grants offered through the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. We’re here to answer some of the big questions.
How Do I Know if I Am Eligible for Grant Funds?
Here are some of the key qualifications to help you determine whether or not your business is eligible.
- You must have a physical address and also operate in California.
- You must be between $1,000 and $2.5 million in gross annual revenue, based on your most recent tax return.
- You must have been in business since June 1, 2019.
- You must be able to show that your business has been affected by the pandemic.
That’s it! Those are the basic qualifications. If you meet these requirements and your business needs funds to continue to operate, apply during the second round of application to be considered for a grant!
However, there is one more extremely important item to keep in mind, and that is…
Your Financials Need to be Accurate, Up-to-Date & Ready to Submit
In order to take advantage of COVID-19 Relief and the PPP loan, you MUST have your financial information at your fingertips because loans are based on your business’s financial needs. If your books are not current and organized, you do not have sufficient information to be able to apply.
If you need help getting your finances in order, there are various small-business-development organizations that offer free help, but it also might be worth it to consider investing in bookkeeping and/or accounting services. Not only will this ensure that your financials are always accurate and up-to-date, but it will save you time, enabling you to focus more on growing your business. Plus, if you sign up today, you get 1 month of services FREE!
Will Everyone Who Applies Receive a Grant?
Sadly, no. There is such a large number of small businesses in California, the volume of applications is going to be very high. Unfortunately, giving everyone access to a grant is not a possibility.
According to careliefgrant.com/faq/ applications in round two will be reviewed to determine eligibility before being scored based on COVID-19 impact factors, including:
- 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)
If you do not meet any of those factors, don’t panic! As long as you meet the eligibility requirements above, your business has a chance at receiving financial help if you apply.
When Is the Second Round of Application?
The second round of application will be from February 2, at 8 AM PST through February 8, at 6 PM PST. Selection notifications will be from February 11- 18. The applications are NOT evaluated on a first come first serve basis, so being in the second round will not put you behind. If you already applied in the first round but have not received confirmation, you do not need to apply again in the second round. Qualified applications will be rolled over for consideration. This will be the last round of applications for this grant program, and the awards for grant funding will be made in two decision rounds.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When You Apply
- Grants will be between $5,000-$25,000. The amount given to a business will be based on its annual revenue.
- You’ll need documentation of your grant application, your most recent tax return, and a government-issued photo ID.
- If you own multiple businesses, you can only receive ONE grant, and you are required to apply for your business with the largest revenue.
- Double-check the documents you upload to the application portal to ensure that they correspond with the highlighted document portion. It’s easy to upload a document in the wrong place, which can hold up the application process. Save yourself the delay and double-check.
If you have additional questions about the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, click here.
Additional Help for Small Businesses
We at JR Bookkeeping have partnered with local organizations such as WEV and the EDC to help small businesses take advantage of available resources to survive and thrive through the pandemic. To find out more, check out our Calendar for free, weekly webinars, or click here to see our list of COVID-19 business relief resources.
The relief grant program is part of a package of state-provided tax relief and grants for small businesses that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The first round of applications opened in late December. The state grants are not related to the federal Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans or Provider Relief Fund.
Here are some additional resources: