SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Small businesses in San Luis Obispo affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for some financial relief.
Applications are now open for the $260,000 SLO City Small Business Relief Fund, created by a partnership between the City of SLO, The Community Foundation SLO County and SLO Chamber to provide direct funding to local small businesses.
“The economic impacts of COVID-19 on our local business community are unprecedented” said Derek Johnson, City Manager. “This program, a true partnership between the City, business and nonprofit communities, provides relief to some of those impacted the most so we can start to recover together, as a community.”
The City of SLO has allocated $200,000 from the CARES Act funding and two private donors have provided a combined total of $60,000.
The entire $260,000 will be allocated to 52 local businesses, with each awardee receiving a $5,000 grant to help fill immediate needs.
“The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is honored to collaborate with the City and SLO Chamber on the SLO City Small Business Relief Fund” shared Heidi McPherson, CEO of The Community Foundation. “We are pleased to bring philanthropy alongside the government resources to support small businesses in San Luis Obispo.”
In May, the SLO Chamber executed a similar partnership with local technology company, Comevo, which provided $75,000 to fifteen countywide businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“We are proud to collaborate with the City and The Community Foundation to provide extra help to businesses in their battle to overcome these challenging times, so they can continue to provide jobs and keep their doors open,” said Jim Dantona, President and CEO of the SLO Chamber. “Through these novel collaborations across sectors and industry, we can help keep
our business community vibrant.”
Applications for the first round of grant funding opened at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 10 and will remain open until 5 p.m. on Monday, August 24.
Recipients will be notified of possible funding in mid-September.
The small business emergency relief program will prioritize applications based on considerations of the following factors:
● For-profit businesses owned and operated within the SLO city limits
● Sole proprietors and/or employers with no more than 25 employees (full- time and part-time)
● Must be locally and independently-owned (not part of a national/regional chain or a franchise)
● Business has experienced a significant decline in revenues due to COVID-19 beginning January 2020 through the end of July 2020
● Previous grant recipients from the Comevo and SLO Chamber countywide fund will not be disqualified, although preference will be given to those who have not yet been awarded a grant
This grant can be used for:
● Paying rent and utilities
● Payroll expenses
● Cost of PPE and cleaning supplies
● Capital improvements needed to comply with public health guidelines
● Paying outstanding debt to vendors, if those debts were incurred after March 1, 2020
● Other immediate operational costs
If you meet the criteria, the application can be found here. For businesses that do not qualify, other assistance and tools may be available. Contact the SLO Chamber for additional information.
If you are a nonprofit seeking financial aid, please reach out to Cassandra Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to request an interview with the City of SLO, The Community Foundation or the SLO Chamber, please contact Jacqui Clark-Charlesworth at email@example.com.