Good News For Local Businesses Struggling During The Pandemic

WILLOWS, CA – Glenn County has more good news for businesses and non-profits struggling in the pandemic – huge amount of cash have been set aside to help. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a relief package provides $2.075 billion in grants aimed at helping businesses hit hard by the COVID-19. This is a massive increase over the initial $500 million in grants provided in the first two rounds of funding for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.  

If the first two rounds of applications tell a story, it is that much more relief was wanted than what was available.  More than 350,000 small businesses and non-profits applied to the first two rounds of funding, and their requests totaled more than $4.5 billion.  Only 40,000 small businesses and non-profits got those grants.  Glenn County had 13 applicants selected, and they received $135,000 in the first round, according to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (called “Go-Biz”).  Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. 

Round 3 begins Friday, March 5 and runs through Thursday, March 11.  It is a “closed round” – only open to those who were waitlisted in Rounds 1 and 2.  New applications will not be accepted, and anyone who was waitlisted doesn’t need to reapply, the Go-Biz statement said.

Fifty million dollars has been set aside for non-profit cultural institutions. Round 4 of the application process is for these institutions only.  It runs from March 16 through March 23.  A new application must be completed even if the non-profit applied in Rounds 1 and 2, and only those who did not receive funding in the first three rounds are eligible.  Grants are based upon the documented percentage of revenue declines based upon a comparison between the second and third quarter of 2020 against the second and third quarter of 2019.

Round 5 will run from March 25 through March 31.  Anyone not selected for a grant in the first three rounds is eligible, and no new application is required if one has already been completed. New applicants can also apply during this period. 

The dates for Round 6 have not yet been announced.  Those not selected or waitlisted in the first five rounds are eligible for grants in this period.  New applications will be taken. However, those who have already applied but were not selected for grants in the first five rounds will automatically be moved into Round 6 with no new application needed. 

For those with more than one business, an application can only be filled out for the one with the highest revenue. Only one business is eligible for a grant. Applying through multiple organizations only delays the application process, according to previous statements from Go-Biz. 

The program gives priority to regions and underserved business industries impacted by the pandemic, disadvantaged communities and groups.  Applications are prioritized based on impact.  The grants are in three tiers -- $5,000 for businesses with annual revenue from $1,000 to $100,000; $25,000 for businesses with revenue between $100,000 and $1,000,000, and $25,000 for businesses with more than $1,000,000 in revenue, but less than $2,500,000.  Each of the state’s 58 counties received awards in the first round. 

California’s small businesses employ almost half the state’s private sector workforce and create two-thirds of new jobs.  However, they operate on close margins:  nearly half of them had only two weeks of cash flow before the pandemic hit.  Without additional funding, more than one in three small businesses will not survive past the next three months, including 32 percent of Latinx-owed and 41 percent of Black-owned businesses. 

For more information on grant eligibility and requirements, along with links to applications, visit