Orange County Microbusiness grants

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom
1/3
The application Period Has Closed

Overview

On March 13, 2020, the White House issued a proclamation declaring national emergency concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (“COVID-19”) outbreak. In response to COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a Shelter in Place order the same day to combat and slow the spread of COVID-19. Since March 2020, and despite federal stimulus and small business efforts to pivot, adapt to new health and safety guidance, and shift to online sales where feasible, many small businesses continue to face enormous risks to their comeback. Today, with California’s COVID-19 cases rising due to the Delta variant, small businesses are still facing financial hardship and limits on their operations. Hardest hit are those microbusinesses that are in geographically dispersed counties or industries severely impacted by COVID-19 health and safety orders.

Existing law (Government Code Section 12100.83) establishes the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program within the Office of Small Business Advocate within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (CalOSBA). The program requires CalOSBA to make grants to assist qualified small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with specified criteria, including geographic distribution based on COVID-19 restrictions and industry sectors most impacted by the pandemic.

The  Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (Government Code Section 12100.90-12100.95) was created within CalOSBA to assist qualified microbusinesses, as defined, that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with grants in the amount of $2,500 to each eligible microbusiness that is selected for an award. Under the Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, CalOSBA must administer a Request for Proposal (RFP) for eligible grantmaking entities defined as a county or in certain cases, a nonprofit or consortium of nonprofit community-based organizations, to administer the Program in California counties.

The County of Orange, in partnership with the Orange County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB),  California Office of the Small Business Advocate, U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Orange County Public Libraries, City of Garden Grove, City of Irvine, City of Laguna Niguel, City of Mission Viejo, City of Rancho Santa Margarita, City of Santa Ana,  Special District of Rossmoor, Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce, Orange Chamber of Commerce, and San Clemente Chamber of Commerce is awarding grants to assist qualified microbusinesses in Orange County that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualified microbusiness means an entity that meets and self-certifies, under penalty of perjury, all of the following criteria:

  • The microbusiness began its operation prior to December 31, 2019.

  • The microbusiness is currently active and operating or has a clear plan to reopen when the state permits reopening of the business.

  • The microbusiness was significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The microbusiness had less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in revenues in the 2019 taxable year.

  • The microbusiness currently has fewer than five full-time equivalent employees and had fewer than five full-time equivalent employees in the 2019 and 2020 taxable years.

  • The microbusiness is not a business excluded from participation in the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 12100.82.

 

Qualified microbusiness owner means an individual that meets and self-certifies, under penalty of perjury, all of the following criteria:

  • The microbusiness owner is the majority-owner and manager of the qualified microbusiness.

  • The microbusiness owner’s primary means of income in the 2019 taxable year was the qualified microbusiness.

  • The microbusiness owner did not receive a grant under the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

  • The microbusiness owner can demonstrate their eligibility as a “qualified microbusiness owner” by providing the fiscal agent with a government issued photo identification (state, domestic, or foreign), and documentation that includes the owner’s name and may include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • A local business permit or license.

    • A bank statement.

    • A tax return.

    • Trade account.

    • Third-party verification

The Orange County Microbusiness Grant Program provides approximately $2,500.00 in one-time grant funding to approximately 1,470 Orange County microbusiness.  The intent of the funding is to provide relief to the hardest to reach qualified microbusinesses and entrepreneurs. The goal is to identify and engage eligible microbusinesses that face systemic barriers to access capital, including but not limited to, businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, individuals without documentation (undocumented), individuals with limited English proficiency, and business owners located in low-wealth and rural, communities throughout Orange County. 

The online grant applications period will re-open Monday, May 9, 2022. Late applications will not be accepted. Grants will be awarded based on meeting the grant qualifications, demonstrating the ability to use the funds based on eligible use, priority grantee status and meeting the eligible business requirements. Grantee will receive one payment in the amount of $2,500.00 to use towards eligible expenses and the payment must be spent before September 30, 2022. Funding provided under this program must be used solely for the purposes stipulated on this website and subsequently in the agreement between Orange County and qualified microbusiness recipient. 

 

Section Title

Qualifications for Eligible Grantee

A microbusiness must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a COVID-19 Relief
grant:

  • Business must be physically located and operating in Orange County. 

  • Must meet the definition of an eligible microbusiness (see Definitions below).

  • Active businesses operating since at least December 2019.

  • The microbusiness is currently active and operating or has a clear plan to reopen when the state permits reopening of the business.

  • The microbusiness was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by at least a 10% reduction in revenue from the 2019 to 2020 taxable years, and/or a signed attestation and narrative describing significant impact from COVID-19.

  • The microbusiness had less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in revenues in the 2019 taxable year.

  • The microbusiness currently has fewer than five full-time equivalent employees and had fewer than five full-time equivalent employees in the 2019 and 2020 taxable years.

  • The microbusiness is not a business excluded from participation in the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 12100.82.

  • The microbusiness owner can and will provide acceptable form of government-issued photo ID (state, domestic, or foreign) and documentation that includes the owner’s name and may include, but is not limited to, the following: a local business permit or license, a bank statement, a tax return, , a trade account, a self-attestation/self-certification done under penalty of perjury.

  • The microbusiness owner must be the majority-owner and manager of the qualified micro business and the owner’s primary means of income in the 2019 taxable year.

  • The microbusiness owner did not receive a grant under the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. List available under California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

  • Must be able to spend all awarded funds by September 30, 2022 and provide receipts for all purchases.

  • Must agree to self-certify that grant funds will be used for one or more of the identified eligible uses of the funds. 

 

Eligible Use of Funds

  1. The purchase of new certified equipment including, but not limited to, a cart.

  2. Investment in working capital.

  3. Application for, or renewal of, a local permit including, but not limited to, a permit to operate as a sidewalk vendor.

  4. Payment of business debt accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  5. Costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or business interruptions or closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 12100.83.

 

Priority Grantee

  1. The owner of the microbusiness is a member of a group that has faced historic barriers in accessing capital and is defined as business majority owned and operated on a daily basis by women, minorities or persons of color, veterans, undocumented individuals, and individuals living in low-wealth or rural areas on low incomes.

  2. The microbusiness has suffered economic impacts or revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. The microbusiness is a sidewalk vendor.

 

Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses without a physical location in California.

  • Nonprofit businesses not registered as either a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19).

  • Government entities (other than Native American tribes) or elected official offices.

  • Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19)).

  • Passive businesses, investment companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns.

  • Churches and other religious institutions (regardless of whether such entities qualify as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(19)), other than a school, child care, or other educational business affiliated where (i) greater than 50% of the gross annual revenue is derived from the school, child care facility or educational business and (ii) the grant will be used only for eligible costs and expenses directly related to the school, child care, or other educational business, and no portion of the grant will be used for any normal profit or overhead of the church or other religious institution.

  • Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies.

  • Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law.

  • Businesses of a prurient sexual nature, including businesses which present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature.

  • Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses.

  • Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity.

  • Speculative businesses.

  • “Affiliated” companies (as such term is defined in 13 C.F.R. § 121.103).

  • Multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue.

  • Businesses of which any owner of greater than 10% of the equity interest in it (i) has within the prior three-years been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against such owner, or has had commenced any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment), for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, state or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or state anti-trust or procurement statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property, or (ii) is presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a government entity, (federal, state or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in subparagraph (i) above.

 
 

OC Economic & Business Recovery Call Center

Live telephone assistance

714-480-6500

Monday through Friday

8:00 AM PST to 5:00 PM PST

Orange county Workforce Solutions Center

7077 Orangewood Avenue, Suite 200
Garden Grove, CA 92841

714-241-4900

Monday - Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Thursday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

OC Workforce Solutions Mobile Unit

or call the OC Economic & Business Recovery Call Center

714-480-6500

Monday through Friday

8:00 AM PST to 5:00 PM PST

Orange county Public LIbraries

If you do not have access to a computer and/or internet access, OC Public Libraries are open for in-person services and have internet stations available according to State and County guidelines. 

Visit your local OC Public Library today!

Access to Technology is Available at the Following Locations:
 
 
 

Next Steps

Resources available for Orange County Microbusinesses

NAICS #'s and Definitions

A special thanks to our community partners
Orange County Microbusiness Grants Logos_Updated02082022.png

Funded in part through a Grant from the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.