California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced that the first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program has been opened and will end on January 8 at 11:59 p.m. and said that additional information about the second round would be provided soon.

Small Business Relief

Newsom and the State Legislature announced on November 30 that the relief program would provide $500 million to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) is responsible for administering the program.

The director of the CalOSBA, Isabel Guzman, said, “Inclusive, equitable relief is fundamental to the small business support developed by this administration. This grant program provides that support through a network of community development financial institutions and community based organizations, ensuring reach to those highly impacted small businesses in disadvantaged communities, underserved small business groups, and industries disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.”

Factors for Distribution

The program would give out between $5,000 to $25,000, and it will not be a first-come, first-serve issuance. Instead, the awarding of the funds is after the closure of each application round.

The distribution of the relief will be based on several key factors, including geographic distribution based on California’s COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, industry groups that were severely affected by the outbreak, and small business groups served by the state-supported network of small business centers, as reported in SFGATE