California State Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a $7.6 billion COVID-19 relief package on Tuesday, which aims to distribute much-needed financial support to residents with a one-time $600 stimulus check and small businesses with $2 billion in grants.

Congress has been in discussions regarding a broader-sized stimulus package for the United States, aiming to support most Americans financially. Newsom’s signing of the bill comes alongside rising criticism of his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the effects it has had on residents and small businesses.

$600 California Stimulus Check

“The backbone of our economy is small business. We recognize the stress the strain that so many small business have been under. And we recognize as well our responsibility to do more and to do better to help support these small businesses through this very difficult and trying time,” said Newsom during the bill-signing ceremony in Sacramento.

Across the state, several counties continue to implement Newsom’s order to ban indoor dining or to limit customer capacity in retail stores. On Tuesday, the state governor announced five counties would move to less restrictive protocols. Newsom said more areas would start to lift restrictions in the coming weeks as the state observes a downtrend of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Small businesses were able to apply for grants under Newsom’s $500 million proposal when he used his emergency powers to try and alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 334,000 applications were sent during the first round of funding, totaling about $4.4 billion in requests from small businesses.

On Thursday, the new law would add a total of $2 billion in funding to support the small business grant program. The funds would be given to businesses with an annual revenue between $1,000 and $2.5 million. Newsom’s bill also prioritizes businesses owned by women and minorities and those that are struggling with high unemployment rates.

Residents can expect the government to add more financial support for businesses next week. On Monday, a bill was planned to be passed that would provide a $2 billion benefit to businesses over six years. It lets owners avoid paying up to $150,000 in expenses with the use of federal loans from their state taxes.

However, Newsom said they revised the bill, raising the deduction threshold from the initial $150,000, allowing businesses to benefit about $2.3 billion from the program.

Newsom’s new law would bring the total funds of the latest stimulus package to nearly $10 billion. “That’s big even for California standards,” said the state governor, CBS News reported.

Residents can expect to receive a one-time $600 stimulus check from the package’s $3.7 billion allotment, reaching out to nearly 5.7 million people. The money would be given out through the California earned income tax credit on people’s tax returns. Eligible individuals are those who earn up to $30,000 per year.

Residents who earn up to $75,000 a year and use their own taxpayer identification number to file their income taxes could also expect to receive the checks. The list includes those who do not have Social Security numbers and immigrants who have been denied federal stimulus payments last year.