Yolo County to distribute $750,000 in small business grants

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Future federal assistance for small businesses remains up in the air in Washington, D.C., but Yolo County is now making available CARES Act funding for businesses with up to 25 employees.

Businesses will have one week (between Sept. 28 and Oct.4) to submit an application for up to $10,000 in grant funds.

The Small Business Grant Program was developed by a task force with representatives from each of the cities in Yolo County.

The goal: to offer financial assistance to for-profit small businesses with a maximum of 25 full-time employees located in the unincorporated and incorporated areas of Yolo County. Part-time employees can also be considered for this program.

The grant provides economic assistance to help sustain small businesses by reimbursing expenditures directly related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to $750,000 in funding is eligible to be dispersed from the grant program. Small businesses may apply for the following:

• Businesses with 1 to 10 FTE can apply for up to $500 per FTE up to a maximum of $5,000.
• Businesses with 11 to 25 FTE can apply for up to $500 per FTE up to a maximum of $10,000.

In order to be eligible for grant funding, the business must be a for-profit small business that has an active business license and has operated out of a physical location in Yolo County for at least one year.

Applicants may apply for grant funds to reimburse for costs related to the negative impacts of COVID-19. Expenses must be documented and have been incurred between March 1 and the date of the grant application.

Eligible expenses for reimbursement include, but are not limited to:

• Innovation to promote outdoor business to protect employee and public health
• Payroll/employee retention or supporting employees
• Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment to protect employee and public health and efforts to sanitize the business environment
• Rent or mortgage payments (excluding property tax payments) during the required closure of the business due to COVID-19, including the required closure of only indoor operations
• Addressing temporary COVID-19 related restrictions on business activity
• Increasing technology capacity to enable alternative work arrangements, such as telecommuting

“One of the areas hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis has been our small businesses, the backbone of our local economy. Beset by closures and the need to often re-tool their operations these businesses have displayed great ingenuity and resiliency,” said Yolo County Supervisor Gary Sandy, chair of the Board of Supervisors.

“The county of Yolo is launching a special fund to assist these small businesses with costs associated with redesigns and new equipment purchases as a means of buffering them from the continuing pandemic,” Sandy said.

“Our communities rely on these businesses and these funds will be used to stabilize and enhance their continued operations.”

Grants will be awarded using a lottery system where a random selection of applications will occur by geographic location. The amount of funds available for each jurisdiction, based on population, are:

• City of Davis: $236,000
• City of West Sacramento: $182,000
• City of Woodland: $206,000
• City of Winters and unincorporated Yolo County: $126,000

Applicants must submit applications online beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept 28 and ending at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4. All required documentation must be uploaded and submitted with the application online. No physical applications will be accepted.

Additional information about the Small Business Grant Program, including a program overview document and a Frequently Asked Questions document, is available on the county website at www.yolocounty.org/small-business-grant.

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