More businesses eligible for small business grants

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Second round of funding applications opens Monday with extended deadline

Sole proprietors and others are now eligible for the second round of funding provided to small businesses that have been especially hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic. The expanded eligibility includes sole proprietors, which are those businesses that do not have employees, as well as businesses that have received an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan or advance.

Businesses may apply for the second round of funding starting Monday (June 29) for up to $10,000 in direct support. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until Aug. 31.

The first round of funding for the small business program resulted in $7.3 million that will be distributed to 738 small businesses in Riverside County. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors dedicated $45 million to the program, as part of federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

“We heard from the business community and we agree. Specifically, we heard from sole proprietors that need support just like any other business that was hit hard by the pandemic and hasn’t received the Paycheck Protection Program,” 4th District supervisor Chair V. Manuel Perez said. “I am proud to make this announcement as they too have sacrificed and struggled, so please apply for relief funding. It is only a small way that we as a county thank you for keeping our economy moving forward.”

Available funding is limited, and applications will be reviewed and processed by Main Street Launch, a third-party nonprofit. Applications must meet certain criteria.

Grants are not available to businesses that have received federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program. Awardees must also develop and implement a safe reopening plan that addresses employee and customer health before disbursement.

“We want to help as many businesses as possible,” 2nd District Supervisor Vice Chair Karen Spiegel said. “Expanding the eligibility criteria and extending the deadline will mean many more small businesses are potentially saved from closing.”

Approximately 96% of businesses in Riverside County are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The small business grants are intended to promote business sustainability, job retention, and the overall economic preservation of small businesses throughout the county.

For more information, including instructions on how to apply, visit https://rivcoccsd.org/covidbizhelp. For questions about the grant program, send an email to rcfaq@mainstreetlaunch.org or call (951) 955-0493.

Submitted by Riverside County.