Two Funding Opportunities for Small Businesses
The County of Mendocino is excited to announce that part one of the Small Business Recovery Grant Program funding will soon be available to eligible for-profit micro-businesses in Mendocino County. The grants will be administered through West Business Development Center.
The County of Mendocino is the recipient of a federal CARES Act grant of $500,000 to be disbursed by December 30, 2020. This federal funding comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) monies disbursed to state, territorial, local, and tribal governments. The grant will provide direct aid in the form of micro-grants to local for-profit businesses that have suffered financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Carmel Angelo, CEO of the County of Mendocino, stated, “This federal funding couldn’t have come at a better time to help our small business community meet their expenses and continue to provide us with the services we need.”
All businesses must meet certain criteria to apply for the Mendo CARES Act grants. They must:
Be a for-profit business with a valid business license
Have self-certified at https://www.mendocinocountybusiness.org with a reopening plan
Be based within the geographical boundaries of Mendocino County
Be a sole proprietorship, or have no more than 5 full-time equivalent or part-time equivalent employees, which could include the owner and 4 individuals working full- or part-time as employees
Be open as of March 20, 2020 and currently operating
The Small Business Recovery Grant Program funds will be split into two funding streams: Mendo CARES Act grant fund and Business Innovation and Resiliency Grants.
The Mendo CARES Act grant has an allocation of $350,000 to reimburse small businesses up to $10,000 in eligible expenses incurred due to COVID-19 business interruption and/or in need of new automated processes required for work. For eligible business owners a notice of intent portal will open on November 2, 2020 at 12 noon, along with the grant guidelines, FAQs, and application instructions at www.westcenter.org and www.mendocinocounty.org/business/business-resource-for-covid-19.
There are several steps business owners can take right now to prepare their application including making sure their business license is current and readily available. Business applicants will be required to submit their business license number, a W-9, receipts for expenses, and other supporting documentation in order for their full application to be considered. If a business does not currently have a business license, they may apply by contacting the cities of Ukiah, Willits, Point Arena, or Fort Bragg, or the County of Mendocino, depending on where the business is located. Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO of West Center, also recommended, “One of the best things a small business owner can do right now is gather their receipts for past expenses. We will need applicants to request an exact amount based on verifiable receipts.”
Final grant award amounts will be based on the number of eligible applications received by November 9, which is the closing date of the notice of intent portal. The final grant awards will be based on calculations from the total requested amounts indicated in the notice of intent and there is no guarantee that the full amount in the application will be awarded. All applicants are required to submit verifiable supporting documentation with their final application.
The full application portal will open on November 13 at 12 noon when applicants will be informed whether they are eligible to submit a full application. Awards will be announced on Friday December 4 at 12 noon.
A third round of Business Innovation and Resiliency Grants has a fund allocation of $150,000 to small business owners with grants of up to $5,000 per business. The online application portal for this funding stream will open on December 1, 2020 at 12 noon. These awards are to support small business owners with cash needs to transform or enhance their business model to adjust to a COVID-19 economy.