Riverside County small businesses impacted by the public health lockdowns have until Jan. 13 to submit grant applications for consideration in the first round of 2021 funding under the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

The county’s Economic Development Agency urged area proprietors, partnerships, C-Corp’s, S-Corp’s and other entities to take advantage of the opportunity, which could mean anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 in funding support, depending on the size of the business and its revenue losses.

The Round 1 application process got underway last week. The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 13.

Approval notifications will begin going out as early as Jan. 15, according to the state.

In order to be eligible for grants, a business must have been in operation since June 1, must be able to present documented impacts to sales, revenue and other streams stemming from the lockdowns, and must have “organizing documents” on hand, including tax returns, articles of incorporation, licensing details and related paperwork.

Gross annual revenue can be anywhere from $1,000 to $2.5 million.

Churches, investment firms and “virtual” businesses, without a fixed location, are not eligible to apply.

Officials noted that the program is not based on first-come, first-served criteria. The vetting process, rather, relies on certain “key factors,” such as the verifiable impact of restrictions on business activity, how entities within the same industry have faired, and the need to promote “businesses majority-owned and run on a daily basis by women, minorities (and) veterans,” according to criteria posted online.

The relief program is not part of the Riverside County Small Business Assistance Grant Program, which made $45 million in grants available to qualifying businesses last year.

More information about the state program is available at careliefgrant.com/.

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