The city of Fresno is taking applications for the second round of Save Our Small Businesses Act funding.
Small businesses — defined as 25 or fewer employees — are eligible for grants of either $5,000 (for businesses with 1-5 employees) or $10,000 (between 6-25 employees). Because the second round of the program is funded through federal stimulus money, no repayment is required.
Interested businesses can apply by clicking this link.
The application period starts today at noon and requests are due at 11:59 p.m. on June 5.
One of the program’s authors, Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi, said businesses that weren’t selected in the first round will need to reapply.
116 Received First Round Funding
In March, the Fresno City Council approved the first round of funding from $750,000 from city coffers. More than 2,600 businesses applied, with 118 businesses awarded funds. Because there were more applicants than money available, a lottery was held for qualified applicants.
Recipients received a 0% interest loan, forgivable if the business remains in operation for one year.
Like the first round, the second round of winners will be spread around the seven council districts.
With $2 million set aside for this round of funding, between 200 and 400 more businesses will receive help.
“I am thrilled the mayor and council have prioritized finding funds to help small businesses weather this storm. This is another critical step helping our local mom and pop shops as we’re rebuilding Fresno’s economy and securing thousands of important jobs,” Karbassi said.
According to the city, to be eligible, “The business must have a valid City of Fresno Business License Tax Certificate, have been in business no later than February 15, 2020, cannot have any outstanding code enforcement or conditional use permit (CUP) violations or have received relief funding at the local, state or federal level.”
Applicants must have faced a negative impact from COVID-19.
The money can be used for payroll and benefits, rent or mortgage, unpaid utilities, or supplies to safely reopen the business.
Funds cannot be used for capital improvements or other normal business purchases.
The types of businesses will also be restricted, which wasn’t the case in the first round.
For example, professional services such as legal and accounting are not eligible. Several law firms received funding in the first round.
Businesses owned by a council member or city staff (or their spouses) are not eligible.
There are other grant programs at the local and federal levels.
The city of Fresno has separate programs for small local farmers, as well as renters.
The county has a similar business grant program for any businesses within Fresno County. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 1, and applications can be found at this link.