A new round of funding for Riverside County small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will come available Monday, and sole proprietorships will now have access to the grants, having previously been excluded.
“We want to help as many businesses as possible,” Supervisor Karen Spiegel said. “Expanding the eligibility criteria … will mean many more small businesses are potentially saved from closing.”
The initial round of funding opened during the first week of June and ended on June 19, by order of the Board of Supervisors.
As in the first round of distributions, the new round will provide up to $10,000 per qualifying grant recipient.
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.
According to the Executive Office, 738 small businesses — defined as entities with 50 or fewer employees, which comprise 96% of private sector operations countywide — received an aggregate $7.3 million in grants in round one of the distribution cycle.
Round two will go until Aug. 31, and grant awards will be on a first-come, first-served basis, officials said.
In addition to sole proprietors, the revised eligibility criteria permits businesses that have previously received 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.
However, entities that have been awarded funding under the federal Paycheck Protection Program cannot apply.
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 rivcoccsd.org/covidbizhelp.
Interested parties may also email program administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 951-955-0493.
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