City of Santa Clara small business grant program opens to applications

With small businesses struggling under the weight of COVID-19, cities across the West Valley are stepping up to help.

The City of Santa Clara approved a small business grant program earlier this month. Now it is getting a helping hand from the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce.

At its April 8 meeting, the City Council approved $500,000 grant allocation to assist with lost income due to coronavirus. The city’s grant program is likely open to the more than 4,500 businesses in the city with between 2-25 employees. At that meeting, councilmembers asked city staff to work with the Chamber on outreach plans.

“I think [businesses with fewer than 25 employees] are the ones with the most need right now,” said Councilmember Debi Davis at the April 8 hearing.

Davis continued, “They’re the Mom and Pops of our city and I think we really need to help them out.”

While city staff examined both grant and loan programs, they determined grants were a simpler and more effective route.

“The grant program would allow the city to get capital out to small businesses without the burden of additional debt,” said Ruth Shikada, Assistant City Manager.

Now, the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce is helping with business outreach in the community. The chamber is also helping small business owners with the application process.

“As the local chamber, we want to ensure small business owners in our area understand the aid available to them and how they can apply to access those funds now,” said Nick Kaspar, chamber President and CEO.

The grant program opened for applications Friday morning at 10 a.m.

To see details, click here.

Qualification requirements

In order to be eligible, businesses must fulfill the following, according to the city’s website:

  • For a $10,000 grant award, applicants must be a small business with at least one and no more than 25 full-time employees that has been deemed non-essential under the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department order dated March 16, 2020.
  • For a $5,000 grant award, applicants must be a small business with at least one and no more than 25 full-time employees that has been deemed essential under the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department order dated March 16, 2020.
  • Applicants must verify the business has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 by completing the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet.
  • Applicants must operate out of a physical commercial storefront within the city limits of Santa Clara, be in good standing with the city, and have a city business license.
  • The businesses must have been in operation in the City of Santa Clara for at least one year as of March 1, 2020.

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