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Governor’s Recovery Plan to Add $575 Million to Small Business Grant Program

Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom released a preview of his budget plan to help California businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s Equitable Recovery for California Businesses and Jobs plan contains business and workforce recovery elements, including adding $575 million to the $500 million previously allocated for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant.

CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg welcomed the Governor’s announcement on help for small businesses. “CalChamber looks forward to working with the Governor, the administration and the legislature to get much-needed relief to California’s beleaguered small businesses, as soon as possible,” he said.

Legislative leaders were responsive as well. In a joint statement, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said: “Californians are hurting and need immediate assistance to weather the current crisis. A unified effort is critical to success and we look forward to working with the Governor on the specifics of his, and legislative, proposals to take early action in providing meaningful additional relief. As we work toward passing a final budget in June, we must continue on the responsible path of ensuring our actions strengthen California and our communities, and not add to the economic challenges we are facing.” 

Small Business Grants

The small business COVID-19 program offers grants of $5,000–$25,000, depending on the annual revenue of the small business, to help micro and small businesses adapt operations for the coronavirus. The grants will be distributed statewide, with priority given to regions and industries affected by the pandemic, disadvantaged communities and underserved small business groups. Nonprofits are eligible for these grants.

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

The first round of applications for the grant program began on December 30, 2020 and closes January 13 (an extension from the original closing date).

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