California will offer almost $500 million in COVID-19 relief grants to small businesses and nonprofits. Through the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, nonprofits may be eligible to receive grants of up to $25,000. Applications will be available for the first round of grants beginning December 30, 2020.
There will be two rounds of grants available to small business and nonprofits, each totaling $237.5 million. During the first round, applications will be accepted starting December 30, 2020 at 6:00AM and ending January 8, 2021 at 11:59PM. The start and end dates for the second round of grants have not yet been announced.
Nonprofits may use the grant funds to cover COVID-19 related expenses, including:
- Payroll costs;
- Healthcare benefits;
- Rent and utilities;
- Costs associated with reopening; and
- Other COVID-19 related costs not covered through other grants.
The amount of the grant awards will be based on annual gross revenue as follows:
- $5,000 – for nonprofits with annual gross revenue between $1,000 and $100,000;
- $10,000 – for nonprofits with annual gross revenue between $100,001 and $1,000,000; and
- $25,000 – for nonprofits with annual gross revenue between $1,000,001 and $2,500,000.
Eligibility for COVID-19 Relief Grants
In order to be eligible to receive a grant, a nonprofit must:
- Have been in operation since June 2019;
- Be currently active (or have a plan to reopen);
- Be tax-exempt under either 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- Not be a church or other religious institution;
- Have a physical address and operate in California; and
- Have an annual gross revenue between $1,000 and $2.5 million.
Note that applicants with multiple entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants.
How to Apply for COVID-19 Relief Grants
The grant application will be available through the program website. Each round of the application process will have two stages. Any nonprofit may apply to the first stage, but only those that are qualified based on the eligibility requirements may complete the second stage. If a nonprofit applies in the first round of grants and does not make it to the second stage, it will automatically be included again for consideration in the second round of grants.
In the first stage, applicants must fill out a grant application, upload financial documents and identification documents, and certify that the information submitted is accurate and truthful. The applicant must submit the following required documentation:
- The organization’s most recently filed Form 990;
- Evidence of the required gross annual revenue; and
- A government-issued photo ID of the individual filling out the application on behalf of the organization.
In the second stage, eligible organizations must provide additional documentation, including:
- The organization’s Articles of Incorporation;
- The organizations IRS tax exemption letter; and
- Verification of an organization bank account.
Grants are aimed to aid small, vulnerable and disadvantaged businesses and nonprofits. As such, grant recipients will be selected based on priority factors including:
- The impact of COVID-19 on the organization;
- The impact of COVID-19 on the community the organization serves; and
- Whether the organization represents underserved populations.
The program website has additional information regarding the nonprofit application process. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the COVID-19 relief grants available to nonprofits.