The Orange County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB) has been awarded $3,975,481 in California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program funds by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) to help underprivileged microbusinesses and entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19. “This grant opens doors for some of the most difficult-to-reach company owners who are normally faced with challenges preventing them from accessing money, and this award can make a difference in helping them flourish,” said Fourth District Supervisor Chairman Doug Chaffee. Microbusinesses and entrepreneurs facing financial access challenges, such as those run by women, minorities, veterans, those without documents, individuals with poor English proficiency, and company owners in low-income regions, will receive $2,500 from the County.
“Many companies are still being impacted by COVID-19, and this money is an example of how we are continuing to discover and give opportunities to help our community,” said Third District Supervisor Vice Chairman Don Wagner.
Microbusinesses must satisfy the following criteria to be considered:
- The microbusiness was established before December 31, 2019 and is currently operational and running, or has a clear intention to restart when the state allows it.
- The COVID-19 epidemic had a profound influence on microbusiness.
- The microbusiness had gross revenues of less than $50,000 in the 2019 taxable year, and had fewer than five full-time equivalent employees in the 2019 and 2020 taxable years. • The microbusiness is not a business excluded from participation in the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) o
“The small business owners and entrepreneurs of Orange County are the backbone of our economy,” stated First District Supervisor Andrew Do. “Supporting small businesses is critical to the revival of our county.” The funding program will assist offset some of the costs of new equipment, permits, debt, and other expenses.”
If awarded, microbusinesses can use the money to buy new equipment, invest in working capital, apply for or renew a local permit, pay off business debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, or cover costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or cover business interruptions or closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without our microbusinesses and entrepreneurs, the culture and quality of life in Orange County would not be the same, and it is critical that we address their needs with the resources the County has available,” said Second District Supervisor Katrina Foley.
Beginning February 14, 2022, at 9 a.m., interested microbusiness owners can apply at oconestop.com/grant-relief-programs. Call the Orange County Business and Economic Recovery Call Center at (714) 480-6500 if you have any concerns about the program or need assistance filing an application. Microbusiness owners without access to a computer or the internet can call the Call Center or go to the OC Public Libraries, Garden Grove Workforce Solutions Center, or the Mobile Unit. The eligibility of applications will be checked, and submission does not guarantee payment.
“Our neighborhood benefits much from entrepreneurs and microbusinesses.” “They provide chances for many Orange County citizens, whether it’s career prospects or skill development,” said Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.
The County of Orange would like to thank the following Orange County community partners: Orange County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB), U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Orange County Public Libraries, City of Garden Grove, City of Irvine, City of Laguna Niguel, City of Mission Viejo, City of Rancho Santa Margarita, City of Santa Ana, La Habra Area Chamber of Commerce, Orange Chamber of Commerce, and San Clemente Chamber of Commerce.