California is home to millions of businesses – many of which are small and could use some extra support. Luckily, the state, local governments, and nonprofits offer small business grants for various purposes. Here are several current small business grant programs in California.
California Dream Fund
The California Dream Fund is a $35 million program to support the state’s new businesses. New businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs can apply for micro grants of up to $10,000. Full details are expected early in 2022. But the program will require entrepreneurs to have a business entity established after July 1 2019, with all necessary permits filed and some form of business training and plan started. The program will mainly focus on a few industries, including child care, cottage food, green technology, retail, and manufacturing. Businesses will also get access to a training program in addition to the grants.
Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development
Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) provides micro-grants, training, and technical assistance to target entrepreneurs in California. Eligible businesses should address a social problem or community need. And the program specifically targets immigrants and those who may face barriers to traditional employment, including those with limited English proficiency or without legal residency. The deadline for the latest funding round is February 8.
California Paid Family Leave Program Grants
The state of California offers grants to help small businesses offset costs associated with providing paid family leave. The California Employment Training Panel and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency administer these funds from the state’s general fund. Grants of $2,000 are available for businesses with up to 50 employees. And businesses with between 51 and 100 employees can apply for $1,000 for each employee who uses the program. Businesses can use grant funds to pay for training and management while employees are on leave. This is an ongoing program. But the deadline for the current round is February 8.
Kern County Small Business Micro-Grants
Businesses in Bakersfield and Kern County, California that have missed out on previous pandemic assistance programs have another chance. The community is offering nearly $1 million in grants to qualified businesses, which can apply for up to $2,500 each. Businesses must have $50,000 or less in revenue and five full-time employees or fewer as of 2019. Companies must also be able to prove pandemic-related financial loss with no financial support from previous funding programs. Grants will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis.
Santa Clara County Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
Microbusinesses in Santa Clara County, California that have been negatively affected by the pandemic can apply for relief grants of up to $2,500. The program includes a total of $2.4 million in funding from the California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. The nonprofit group Enterprise Foundation, which is administering the program, will select about 875 local businesses to receive funding. To qualify, businesses must have five or fewer employees and less than $50,000 in revenue as of 2019. And priority is granted to women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses.
Mono County CV Financial Assistance Program
Businesses in unincorporated parts of Mono County, California may be eligible for a new $5,000 grant opportunity. Funding comes from the California Housing and Community Development and Community Development Block Grant. And it is open to small businesses in the area with up to five low to moderate income employees. Businesses must also be able to prove financial loss due to COVID-19 through profit and loss statements or tax documents. Grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis.