$500 Million Grant to California Small Businesses and Nonprofits

December 30, 2020, a $500 million grant program opened up for California small businesses and nonprofits. This is welcomed news for thousands of local small businesses and nonprofits still reeling from the most recent Coronavirus related shutdowns. Depending on your revenue, your organization could be eligible for $1,000 to $25,000 in assistance. 

The aid is part of a larger package of financial relief announced by Governor Newsom. In addition to the grant program, eligible businesses can now defer their sales taxes, get access to additional loans, tax credits for hiring, and more. This latest series of business relief efforts come as the negative business impacts of this month’s new stay-at-home orders continue to cripple small businesses across the state. Additionally, the pending federal stimulus Bill is expected to bring additional financial help to struggling businesses.

Who’s Eligible?

To be eligible for these grants you must be a small business or small nonprofit. You must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award:

  • You must be a sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work, and or registered “for-profit” business entity (e.g., C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership).
  • Your business must have yearly gross revenue of less than $2.5 million (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on the most recently filed tax return.

  • Small nonprofits must be registered as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit entity. They must have a yearly gross revenue of less than $2.5 million. Annual revenue must be at least $1,000 – based on the most recently filed Form 990.
  • Your businesses or nonprofits should be operating since at least June 1, 2019.
  • Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the State of California permits the re-opening of the business.
  • Business must be negatively impacted by COVID-19. The health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Business must be able to provide organizing documents including 2018 or 2019 tax returns or Form 990s, copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License.
  • Businesses must be able to provide an acceptable form of government-issued photo ID.
  • Applicants with multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc. are not eligible for multiple grants. They are only allowed to apply once, using their eligible small business with the highest revenue.


The amount of grant funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. Eligibility is based on the organizations’ annual revenue as documented in their most recent tax return:

Annual RevenueGrant Amount
$1,000 to $100,000$5,000
Greater than $100,000 up to $1,000,000$15,000
Greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000$25,000

California Grants

Currently, there are almost 200 California small business grants listed on GrantWatch.com. There are 850 California nonprofit grants listed. It is always best to not to put all your eggs in one basket. So, if the amount being awarded in a particular grant is not enough, or if you are not granted said grant, you will have other options to fall back on.

Happy New Year!

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