Santa Clara adds $300k more to small business relief program

At its meeting Tuesday, Santa Clara’s City Council expanded its in-demand small business relief grant program.

Approved on April 8, the program initially had $500,000 in grant funding. It opened to applications on Friday, April 17, and was quickly overwhelmed with businesses in need. Businesses must demonstrate a loss of income due to COVID-19 to qualify, among other restrictions.

Within just four days, Santa Clara officials acknowledged that the fund would likely run out of money. The city has received approximately 600 applications to date.

“The City expects that the $500,000 currently available in grant funding will be exhausted,” officials said on April 20.

On Tuesday, the council added $300,000 more to the fund. The money, according to city staff, comes from a variety of sources across the city’s budget.

Approved applicants can get up to $10,000 grants for non-essential businesses and $5,000 for essential businesses. As of April 23, the city had awarded 33 grants, totaling $240,000. That had increased to 65 businesses and $460,000 by Wednesday.

That included yoga studios, eye doctors, restaurants, and a range of other businesses. To see the list of grantees, as of April 29, click here.

“The City is continuing to process applications in the order they were received and will do so until all funds are awarded,” officials said in their daily update on COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.

More funds coming?

It remains unclear if private entities will also step to support small businesses in the city. The Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce has been assisting businesses with applications.

“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,” Nick Kaspar, chamber President and CEO, said in early April regarding the initial discussion around funds.

“We know the chamber is very supportive of the program, and so we would hope that there would be some funds sometime in the near future that would help augment the program,” said Ruth Shikada, Assistant City Manager, at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

The application process is still open. To see more information or to apply, click here.