Additional Millions in Relief Funding Available for Small Businesses

Additional Millions in Relief Funding Available for Small Businesses

Taylor Martinez

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A new round of funding for Riverside County small businesses impacted by the public health orders implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic will come available Wednesday, with fewer limitations on eligibility to qualify for grants.

The initial round of funding opened June 2 and ended on June 19, by order of the Board of Supervisors. A second round of funding spanned the last week of June to early August. The application period for the current round will run to Oct. 30, according to the county Executive Office.

As in the previous distributions, the new round will provide up to $10,000 per qualifying grant recipient. Grant awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

The board set aside $45 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security — CARES — Act funding for the Small Business Assistance Grant Program. The county received a total $431,091,226 in CARES money in April.

According to the Executive Office, just over 3,000 small businesses — defined as entities with 50 or less employees, which comprise 96% of private sector operations countywide — have received an aggregate $30 million in grants in the last two distribution cycles.

Revised eligibility criteria permits businesses that have previously received Paycheck Protection Program or Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster loans to apply for relief. Operators must have had their doors open for a minimum of one year to qualify for assistance. Recipients of PPP assistance must additionally cannot have accepted more than $75,000 through that program, officials said.

There are roughly 64,000 small businesses countywide, according to the Economic Development Agency.

Oakland-based Main Street Launch, a nonprofit that specializes in handling micro and other lending programs to promote economic development, is the manager of the Small Business Assistance Grant Program.

Details regarding how to apply are available at http://www.rivcobizhelp.org.

Interested parties may also email program administrators at bizinfo@rivco.org, or call 951-955-0493.

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