City News

CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant

Until January 13, 2021, the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program Round 1 will be accepting applications for grants ranging from $5,000 - $25,000 to underserved micro businesses, small businesses, and non-profits throughout the state struggling under the pandemic shutdown.
If you meet eligibility requirements, we recommend that you prepare to apply ASAP as this grant will only be open for a short period of time.

Access the grant via: https://careliefgrant.com/ 

Steps To Apply Online:

Prepare to submit the following required documents:

  1. Most recent tax return filed (2019 or 2018)
  2. A copy of official filing of your business (Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration, or Government-Issued Business License)
  3. Government Issued Photo ID of the person submitting the application (such as a Driver’s License or Passport)

Access the grant via: https://careliefgrant.com/ 

  1. Apply through one of the six (6) available Orange County Partners: https://careliefgrant.com/partner/orange/. You may select any Partner to apply through. Only apply to one Partner as this will help to reduce delays in the process.

Please find below a general summary of the grant: 

California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA)
California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program


The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.


Applications and disbursement are being handled by Lendistry, a technology partner that has been designated by the state to host and manage the portal for the Program’s grant application and to disburse grant funds.


Application Opens: December 30, 2020

Round 1 Deadline: January 13, 2021

Round 2 Deadline: TBD

Eligible Applicants

Small businesses and small nonprofits meeting the following definitions:

  • Small business:  Sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work, and or registered “for-profit” business entity (e.g., C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership) that has yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed tax return
  • Small nonprofit: Registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit entity having yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed Form 990

Funding Information

Available Funds: $500 million Statewide

Grant amounts based on revenue as follows:

  • Annual revenue $1,000 - $100,000 à $5,000 grant
  • Annual revenue up to $1 million à $15,000 grant
  • Annual revenue up to $2.5 million à $25,000 grant

Documentation required to apply

  1. Signed application certification form (will be available after applications open)
  2. Business financial information - Most recent tax return filed (2019 or 2018) provided in an electronic form for online upload
  3. Copy of a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport

Application Process

Applicants will select a partner organization to apply through, based on the county that the applicant is located in and the applicant’s preferred language.

After submitting required documents through the application, the Program will prioritize distribution based on priority key factors, including the following:

  • Geographic distribution based on COVID-19 health and safety restrictions following California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, county status and the new Regional Stay At Home Order which can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
  • Industry sectors most impacted by the pandemic
  • Underserved small business groups served by the State supported network of small business centers (i.e., businesses majority owned and run on a daily basis by women, minorities/persons of color, veterans and businesses located in low-to-moderate income and rural communities)

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are only those costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are the eligible uses of grant funds:

  • All employee expenses including payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • Working capital, overhead (including rent, utilities, mortgage principal and interest payments (excluding mortgage prepayments)), debt payments (principal and interest) incurred before March 1, 2020;
  • Costs associated with re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and business closures;
  • Costs associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, including but not limited to equipment, plexiglass barriers, outdoor dining, PPE supplies, testing, and employee training expenses; or
  • Any other COVID-19 related expenses not already covered through grants, forgivable loans or other relief through federal, state, county or city programs