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Small Business Assistance Grant Program

Grants to California Small Businesses in Eligible Locations
for Financial Assistance Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Santa Cruz County

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Grants of up to $15,000 to California small businesses in eligible locations for financial assistance due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Funding is intended to assist businesses remain open and continue employing staff. Eligible businesses are located in the county of Santa Cruz (including the four incorporated cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville).

The objective of this program is to offer immediate financial assistance to reimburse COVID‐19 related expenses. Grant funds may only be used to reimburse the following items:

  • “Payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health, human services, and other similar employees “substantially dedicated” to mitigating and responding to COVID‐19”  that are necessary and unreimbursed from another source of funding (this may include additional staff hired to respond to the emergency to provide services.); 
  • Payroll expenses due to business interruption; 
  • Lease payments for business premises; 
  • New Business telework equipment costs as a result of COVID‐19; 
  • Inventory Acquisition (inventory needed to re‐open or maintain open status); 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchase;  
  • Facility readiness (social distancing preparedness, business modifications, outdoor  dining, etc.); and 
  • Other eligible expenditures included in the Department of Treasury Guidance.   

Fifty percent (50%) of the grants are dedicated to businesses owned by women and socially disadvantaged individuals.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 192283

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The funding for this grant opportunity will enable a potential of 66 to 100 grants available throughout the county.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants of up to $15,000 will be issued.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Please carefully review the eligibility requirements below:
- Applicants must submit a current copy of its W‐9 form.
- Applicants must have been in operation within Santa Cruz County for at least one year as of March 1, 2020, and have no more than 25 full‐time employee equivalents (FTE).
- The business must remain in operation at least 30 days after receiving grant funding, otherwise the business must return the Small Business Grant Program funds to the County of Santa Cruz within ten days of closure.
- If the applicant’s business resides in one of the four incorporated cities (Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, or Watsonville), you must have an active business license, a copy of which is required at submission and be in good standing with the local jurisdiction and State. Applicants who are involved or have been involved in legal or financial issues may not qualify.
- Applicant cannot have received either SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or other SBA, government, or other grant source related to COVID‐19.
- Businesses must not qualify as an essential business (per March 16, 2020, public health order – Section 10(f):
- If Applicant has multiple locations, the principal place of business will be used to enter the lottery.

Pre-Application Information:

Compete applications must be submitted no later than September 15, 2020. If your application is found complete, it will be reviewed for eligibility and if eligible will be placed in the lottery which will be awarded on September 16, 2020 at 3 :00 p.m. The lottery is divided into three grant zones – South County, Mid County, and North County. Funds are divided based on the percentage of positive COVID‐19 cases in each area as of August 18, 2020 (program adoption by the Board of Supervisors).

The grants will be awarded through a lottery system with the county divided into three grant zones ‐ South, Mid, and North County.

There is a maximum of one application per business owner.

Supporting documentation for eligible expenditures must be submitted with the application for reimbursement.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email applications and questions to:

Office for Economic Development
701 Ocean Street
Room 520 (Fifth Floor)
County Administrative Office
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: Santa Cruz County (including the four incorporated cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville)

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