SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Certain small businesses and nonprofits can apply now for a chance to receive a relief grant from the state of California.

Grants are between $5,000-$25,000. The money is only eligible to be used for COVID-19 related costs, such as employee expenses, business rent, and costs associated with complying with government health orders.

The application window opened on September 9 and you can apply through September 30. There is no priority given to earlier applicants.

Who is eligible

There are two programs for the funds; one is the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program for small businesses. The other program is the Nonprofit Cultural Institutions Program.

For small businesses, this round of funding will also include those who have previously applied and were waitlisted.

This is how the state defines what small businesses are qualified:

A business or nonprofit that meets all of the following criteria, as confirmed by the office or fiscal agent
through review of revenue declines, other relief funds received, credit history, tax returns, and bank account validation:

  • And is one of the following:
    • A sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 employee, C-corporation, S-corporation, cooperative, limited liability company, partnership, or limited partnership with an annual gross revenue of up to two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000), but at least one thousand dollars ($1,000), in the 2019 taxable year.
    • A registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(19) nonprofit entity that had an annual gross revenue of up to $2,500,000, but at least $1,000 in the 2019 taxable year.
  • Began operating prior to June 1, 2019.
  • Is currently active and operating or has a clear plan to reopen when the state permits reopening of the business.
  • Has been impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions, such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provides organizing documents, including a 2019 tax return or Form 990, and a copy of official filing with the Secretary of State or with the local municipality, as applicable, including, but not limited to, Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration, or Government-Issued Busines License.
  • Provides an acceptable form of government-issued photo identification.
  • Is the entity, location, or franchise with the highest revenue in a group.
  • Eligible small businesses must have a physical address and operate in California, which will be validated through submitted business tax returns. If your business tax returns do not reference a California address, you will be deemed ineligible.

Here are the nonprofit cultural institutions that are eligible:

A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity that satisfies the criteria for a qualified small business but with no limitation on annual gross revenue, and that is in one of the following North American Industry Classification System codes:

  • 453920 – Art Dealers;
  • 711110 – Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters;
  • 711120 – Dance Companies;
  • 711130 – Musical Groups and Artists;
  • 711190 – Other Performing Arts Companies;
  • 711310 – Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events with facilities;
  • 711320 – Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events without facilities;
  • 711410 – Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures;
  • 711510 – Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers;
  • 712110 – Museums;
  • 712120 – Historical Sites;
  • 712130 – Zoos and Botanical Gardens; or
  • 712190 – Nature Parks & Other Similar Institutions

There are several disqualifying traits, for entities that do not fit the criteria for a grant. This includes religious institutions, lobbying groups, banks, and more.

How much can you get?

The program is offering three different award sizes. If selected, your award size is dependent on your annual gross revenue.

  • $5K grant
    • Annual gross revenue must be between $1K-$100K
  • $15K grant
    • Annual gross revenue must be between $100K-$1M
  • $25K grant
    • Annual gross revenue must be greater than $1M, up to $2.5M

What else you need

The following information is required from all applicants in Stage 1:

  1. A copy of the signed Application Certification.
  2. All pages of most recent federal tax return filed (2019) – provided
    as a PDF only.
  3. An acceptable form of government-issued photo ID provided as a
    PDF only.
  4. Acceptable evidence of minimum gross annual revenue of no less
    than $1,000 per year.

The following information is required from all applicants in Stage 2:

  1. Organizing documents, including 2019 federal tax returns or
    Form 990s, or a copy of official filing with the California Secretary
    of State (which must be active) or local municipality, as
    applicable, for your business such as one of the following, which
    must be provided as a PDF only:
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Certificate of Organization
    • Fictitious Name of Registration
    • Government-issued Business License (sole proprietors
    without fictitious name)
  2. For eligible nonprofit entity applicants, a copy of the entity’s
    most recent IRS tax exemption letter.
  3. Verification of bank account via electronic registration or other
    approved review process.

Ready to apply? Check the relief grant program website.