Funding will support small businesses that have been struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic

California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), today announced that Round 1 for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program has closed.

With more than 300,000 applications successfully completed, application approval notifications were sent out Friday, January 15 through Friday, January 22. Funds started being disbursed over a 45-day verification period beginning Friday, January 22.

A second round of applications will open at 8:00 a.m. February 2 and will run through 6:00 p.m. February 8. Applicants who submitted all necessary documents in the first round and met eligibility requirements, but did not receive a grant, do not need to reapply; their applications will be rolled over for consideration in the second round.

“There is no question that small business are hurting, and the reality of this pandemic demands urgent relief now to help those who need it most,” said Dee Dee Myers, GO-Biz Director. “Before COVID-19, the 4.1 million small businesses that call this state home created two-thirds of California’s net new jobs and employed nearly half of all private-sector employees. It is crucial that we do everything we can to put more money into the hands of impacted small business owners.”

On January 5, Governor Newsom previewed his Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan – part of his proposed 2021-22 state budget – which called for immediate legislative action on $575 million in additional grants for the California Relief Grant Program. This investment will add to the initial $500 million allocation announced November 30, bringing the total amount for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to $1.075 billion.

The Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program offers grants up to $25,000 to micro and small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the pandemic. It is not a first-come, first-served program, nor a rolling approval process. Grants will be distributed across the state, with priority given to regions and industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, disadvantaged communities and underserved small business groups. All applications will be considered and prioritized based on impact.

Due to the overwhelming demand, the Round 1 application deadline was extended from January 8 to January 13 to ensure interested small businesses and nonprofits had the opportunity to apply.

Mission-based lenders and small business advisory and technical assistance providers will continue to help small businesses with the application process in multiple languages and formats in the second round. Many of the State-supported small business centers, which prioritize the expansion of technical assistance to underserved business groups, will also be also available to help. For more information on grant requirements and eligibility, visit

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit

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