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July 10, 2020

San Diego County Relief Program for Small Businesses

by Shalmali Kulkarni

If you are a small business owner in San Diego, there is a new program that may help to relieve some of your financial burden caused by COVID-19. In this post, we will break down the rules and requirements for applying for the Small Business Stimulus Program.

On 07/07/2020, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the Small Business Stimulus Program.

This program was established to provide grant money to for-profit and nonprofit businesses affected as a direct result of the pandemic. A total of $17 million of CARES Act funds have been set aside for this program and applications are open through Oct 16th subject to availability of funds. To apply, you must first determine eligibility and then immediately complete the application form directly on the San Diego County website. Please note, the application process must be completed in one sitting. Thus, you must ensure you have all the necessary information and documents ready before you start.

Determine eligibility

To be eligible, businesses must have the following:

1. 100 or fewer employees
2. Headquarters in San Diego County
3. A minimum 1-year operating history as of Feb 14th, 2020
4. Documentation of financial hardship directly because of COVID-19
5. In addition to the above, all nonprofit firms must be identified on the Charitable Organization Registry maintained by the California Attorney General (AG) as CURRENT, EXEMPT, or provide evidence that they are not required to register or are in process of being registered. In addition, eligible applicants must have a status of ACTIVE with the California Secretary of State or otherwise show that they are authorized to conduct business in the State.

Eligible Uses of Funds

As part of the application, businesses must specify the amount of grant required for each eligible activity. Funds received must be used for the activity specified only and money cannot be used for any activity not described. The following activities are considered eligible activities:

1. Innovation to promote outdoor business to protect employee and public health.
2. Payroll/employee retention or supporting employees, including but not limited to Workers Comp Insurance premium and Unemployment Insurance premium increases related to COVID-19, or employee paid leave due to COVID-19 illness.
3. Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect employee and public health and efforts to sanitize the business environment.
4. Rent or mortgage payments (excluding property tax payments).
5. Addressing temporary COVID-19 related restrictions on business activity.
6. Increasing technology capacity to enable alternative work forms.
7. Creating new marketing campaigns or business plans.
8. Paying vendor invoices.
9. Facility cleaning/restoration.
10. Costs associated with additional training or virtual learning to implement COVID-19 safety measures.
11. Expenses required to plan for a safe reopening such as expert assessments and/or to conduct research or market surveys.
12. Other uses (if selected, a comment box will allow you to briefly describe what you will be using the funds for and the impact COVID-19 has had).

Certain activities are specifically excluded from this list such as:

1. Expenses for the State share of Medicaid.
2. Damages covered by insurance.
3. Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.
4. Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime.
5. Severance pay.
6. Legal settlements.

Documents Required for Application

Once you have determined eligibility and identified the amounts you require for eligible activities, the next step will be to ensure you have all the required documentation.

Documents required include the following:

1. Business License
2. Prior Year Applicant Corporate Tax Return
3. Letter from IRS Showing Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) aka Employer Identification Number (EIN)
4. Monthly Financial Statements: This includes Balance Sheet and Income Statement, internally prepared as of February 14, 2020. You must also include the monthly financial statements for each month after the conclusion of your fiscal year or each month following the reporting period reported on your corporate tax return. Financial statements must be completed in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
5. Detailed Payroll Report as of February 14, 2020

Additional Information Required

Some additional information you will require when you file your application includes the following:

1. Business name and details
2. Number of employees
3. Prior year revenues
4. Grant administrator details – This includes the name and contact information for the primary person at your firm who will be responsible for overseeing the expenditure of the grant money and is authorized to sign the final grant agreement.
5. Supervisorial district based on location of business – The funds are being granted based on districts. Thus, you are required to indicate the supervisorial district your business is located in. Please note: If you have more than one business location in multiple districts, you will need to complete multiple applications.
To verify your district, go to GIS – County of San Diego Supervisorial Districts.

Once you have gathered all your information and you are ready to apply, please visit https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/stimulusgrant/. Funds are available on a first come first served basis, hence all businesses are urged to apply as soon as possible. Final award information will be made available online at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/stimulusgrant/grantinfo.html.

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