Santa Clara’s small business grant program runs dry

It is no secret that small businesses have been hard hit by the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19. Establishments across the West Valley have not been spared by this major upheaval.

The City of Santa Clara’s small business grant program got off to a quick start after its initial cash infusion. Starting in early-April, the City Council approved $500,000 in grant funding to support businesses with fewer than 25 employees. It opened to applications on April 17.

Within days, the program – which has $10k and $5k grants – was quickly running out of money amid sky-high demand. By late April, the council added another $300,000 to support the program. At that point, more than 65 business had received grants, totaling $460,000.

As of May 21, the program had nearly exhausted its funding. At that point 110 grants, totaling $795,000 of the available $800,000, had been awarded.

To see a list of grantees, as of May 12, click here.

More funding to come?

Recently, the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce launched a GoFundMe to help build financial support for local small businesses. The fund has seen little action since its launch, however. After 18 days, it has raised just $1,500, coming from three $500 donations.

In late April, it was unclear if further funding might come available to support small business in the city.

While there are increased budget concerns, there is potential for city leaders will pony up more for the grant program.

“There continues to be a tremendous need for the City’s grant program,” the city said in a statement.

City staffers are recommending the council approve a further $300,000 in grant funding at its May 26 meeting.

Until then, small businesses are forging ahead in the new curbside-pickup environment. That kicks off for retail establishments in Santa Clara County on Friday, May 22.