Small Business Stimulus Grant Application Instructions


ABOUT THE SMALL BUSINESS STIMULUS GRANT PROGRAM:

The Small Business Stimulus Grant Program is funded by Board of Supervisors allocated federal CARES Act funding. The goal of the Grant Program is to provide economic assistance to help businesses and nonprofit entities impacted by COVID-19 to get them open, keep them open, and help prevent more from going out of business. The Small Business Stimulus Grant funds will be equally distributed by Supervisorial District ($5.5 million per district). Financial assistance will be allocated to eligible, qualified small businesses and nonprofit entities with final award recommendations made by individual district offices based on the availability of funds, program guidelines, and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation. 

The funds may be used towards supporting public health and response activities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenditures begin March 1, 2020 through the end of the agreement term, no later than December 30, 2020.  


Of note, nonprofit organizations need to ensure they are registered as a charity in good standing with the California Attorney General AND that they can conduct business in the State of California as defined by the California Secretary of State. Specific details for these eligibility criteria are outlined and highlighted below in the Additional Eligibility Criteria sub-section.

Finally, the following are key points to remember when filling out a Small Business Stimulus application:

  • ELIGIBILITY: private for-profit and non-profit businesses headquartered and operating in San Diego County that experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 may apply; Businesses must have 100 or less employees and a minimum one-year operating history.

  • USE OF FUNDS: Small business stimulus grant funds may NOT be spent on any item not part of the eligible activities in the application; Please fill out the application accordingly.

If an organization has business locations in multiple Supervisorial Districts, an application will need to be submitted for each district.  
 

ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION

Who can apply?
Small businesses and nonprofits operating in San Diego County may apply. 

Eligible businesses to be determined by the following criteria:

  • Are you a private for-profit or non-profit businesses.

  • Do you have one hundred (100) or fewer employees, including sole proprietorships and independent contractors?

  • Are you headquartered in San Diego County, providing local goods and services to the community?

  • Do you have a minimum 1-year operating history as of February 14, 2020?

  • Have you experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19? These impacts must be documented, quantifiable, and clearly driven by COVID-19.

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Prior to completing an application, non-profit organizations will need to ensure they are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants 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.

To prove eligibility, non-profit entities must do the following:

  • California Attorney General: In accordance with the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act, Government Code § 12580 et seq., most non-profit organizations are required to register with the California Attorney General before soliciting funds. Information regarding the registration process, including the status of already registered charities, is available on the California Attorney General’s website at http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y. Please provide a copy of the screen shot from the Registry Verification Search Tool on the California Attorney General’s website showing a CURRENT or EXEMPT status or other evidence of compliance with the State’s charitable registration requirements managed by the Attorney General. Acceptable evidence includes the following documents (see Appendix for example):

  • Printed screenshot of Registry Verification showing CURRENT or EXEMPT status

  • Printed screenshot of paid Initial or Annual Registration

  • California Secretary of State: In order to receive Small Business Stimulus Grant Program funds from the County, non- profit organizations are required to enter into a grant agreement with the County. To enter into a contract and conduct other business activities in the State, an organization must generally be identified as ACTIVE by the California Secretary of State. Information about how to register your organization with the Secretary of State and the status of registered organizations is available on the Secretary of State’s website at https://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/. Please provide a copy of the screen shot from the Business Search on the California Secretary of State’s website showing an ACTIVE status or other evidence of authority to conduct business in the State. Acceptable evidence includes the following documents (see Appendix for example):

  • Printed screen shot of California Secretary of State Business Search

  • Printed screen shot of payment/transaction at sos.ca.gov domain to establish or renew ACTIVE status


ORGANIZATION INFORMATION

Name of Individual Completing Application: The name of the contact person who is part of the organization and can answer questions that may arise during the application process.

Business Name: Enter the name as it appears on the IRS letter for the organization and the Secretary of State Business name.

Phone Number: Enter the organization phone number or the phone number of the primary contact person who is part of the organization and can answer questions that may arise during the application process.

Business Address: Enter the address of the organization’s primary place of business.

Email: Enter the email address for the organization or for the organization contact person who can answer questions that may arise during the application process.

Number of Employees: Enter an amount from 1 - 100. The number of employees can include sole proprietorships and independent contractors.

Prior Year Revenues: Enter the actual amount of revenues recorded for the organization as a whole, not just for the project or activity for which funding is requested. We need financial data for the immediate past year.

Supervisorial District Business is Located In: Indicate the Supervisorial District in which your organization is physically located. If you are uncertain, go to GIS - County of San Diego Supervisorial Districts on the County of San Diego’s Web site and enter the street address to determine the correct Supervisorial District and whether your organization is located within a city’s boundaries or in the unincorporated area of the district.


ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES 

Eligible Activities: Activities eligible for funding must be a direct result of supporting public health and response activities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The eligible expenditure period begins March 1, 2020 and goes through the end of the agreement term, no later than December 30, 2020. 

Please select each of the following eligible activities that were driven by the direct response to COVID-19 and put the amount requested for each activity selected:

  • Innovation to promote outdoor business to protect employee and public health. 

  • Payroll/employee retention or supporting employees, including but not limited to Workers Comp Insurance premium and Unemployment Insurance premium increases related to COVID-19, employee paid leave due to COVID-19 illness. 

  • Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect employee and public health and efforts to sanitize the business environment. 

  • Rent or mortgage payments (excluding property tax payments). 

  • Addressing temporary COVID-19 related restrictions on business activity. 

  • Increasing technology capacity to enable alternative work forms. 

  • Creating new marketing campaigns or business plans. 

  • Paying vendor invoices. 

  • Facility cleaning/restoration. 

  • Costs associated with additional training or virtual learning to implement COVID-19 safety measures. 

  • Expenses required to plan for a safe reopening such as expert assessments and/or to conduct research or market surveys. 

  • 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). 

The list below provides examples of ineligible activities or costs covered:

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

Total Grant Amount Requested: The total grant amount requested will be automatically calculated here. The grant amount requested will equal the grant amounts requested next to the eligible activity above.

Please describe your business and the products and/or services you provide in San Diego County: Please provide a brief description of your business and the products and/or services that are provided in San Diego County.

Please describe what you will be using the funds for in further detail and the impact COVID-19 has had: The brief description should indicate how the funds would be spent if you were to be awarded a grant for activities impacted by COVID-19. This information will be used to help evaluate your request. The grant funds may not be spent on any item that is not part of the activity description in this application. Further, the amount of grant funds that may be spent for each activity will be limited to the lesser of the amount requested or the amount awarded for each activity. Because the grant may be for less than the total amount requested, be careful to list the proposed activities in order of importance, with activity number 1 being the highest priority. If awarded, all activities must take place within the established grant period. 

ADDITIONAL BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Please attach documentation for each of the following:

Business License: Provide a copy of your business license. This is not required for businesses in the unincorporated areas or nonprofits.

Attorney General Proof of Eligibility: For nonprofits, please provide a copy of the screen shot from the Registry Verification Search Tool on the California Attorney General’s website showing a CURRENT or EXEMPT status or other evidence of compliance with the State’s charitable registration requirements managed by the Attorney General. Acceptable evidence includes the following documents (see Appendix for example):

  • Printed screenshot of Registry Verification showing CURRENT or EXEMPT status
  • Printed screenshot of paid Initial or Annual Registration

Secretary of State Proof Eligibility: For nonprofits, please provide a copy of the screen shot from the Business Search on the California Secretary of State’s website showing an ACTIVE status or other evidence of authority to conduct business in the State. Acceptable evidence includes the following documents (see Appendix for example):

  • Printed screen shot of California Secretary of State Business Search
  • Printed screen shot of payment/transaction at sos.ca.gov domain to establish or renew ACTIVE status

Prior Year Applicant Tax Return: Provide a copy of the most recently submitted business Federal Tax Return. If business taxes are reported on personal tax return, the business related sections must be reported.

Letter from IRS Showing Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) aka Employer Identification Number (EIN): Please attach letter showing the organization's federal tax identification number or employer identification number. If not available, please attach a page of the tax return that shows this information.

Monthly Financial Statements: Include the monthly financial statements, including the Balance Sheet and Income Statement, internally prepared as of February 14, 2020. 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 would be preferably completed in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), but not required. 

Detailed Payroll Report as of February 14, 2020: Provide a copy of quarterly payroll reports completed by a third-party payroll company.

W-9 Form: 
This form needs to be completed for businesses that will receive funding. To expedite the process after funding approval, businesses are requested to fill out the form.

Form 590: The County of San Diego must keep on file the 590 form for each business it issues these grant funds to since the money is coming from federal CARES Act funding. The “withholding agent” is the County of San Diego as the issuance of funds for the stimulus grant program are going through them. The “payee” is the business.

GRANT ADMINISTRATOR

This is the primary person who would be responsible for overseeing the expenditure of the funds and authorized to sign the Small Business Stimulus grant agreement on behalf of your business.

Administrator Name: The name of the primary contact person who will be authorized to sign the grant agreement.

Administrator Phone Number: Enter the phone number of the primary contact person who will be responsible for the grant agreement.

Administrator Email Address: Enter the email of the primary contact person who will be responsible for the grant agreement. This will be the email address where the grant agreement will be sent to.


SUBMISSION PROCESS

Verify all the required fields and attachments are completed above. Click ‘Submit’ to submit your grant application.

Please note, if your small business has locations in more than one Supervisorial District, a separate grant application will need to be completed for each Supervisorial District with the information required above.

Further questions: Contact the Board of Supervisors offices at:

IN SUMMARY

Please ensure all the information entered and documentation attached is correct before submitting. Applications will be reviewed to determine eligibility with program activities as noted above under Eligibility Determination and Eligible Activities. 

Final award information will be made available online at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/stimulusgrant/grantinfo.html. Successful applicants will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the County.  

Appendix: Samples of Attorney General Proof of Eligibility and Secretary of State Proof of Eligibility.