After distributing over $3 million in federal aid and community contributions to nearly 350 businesses in the spring, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors recently approved another opportunity for business owners to receive financial help as the coronavirus pandemic wears on.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the establishment of a Business Grant Program during their July 14 meeting, which will utilize a total of $10 million in business revitalization and economic support funding thanks to CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds.

Stanislaus County received $96.1 million of the $150 billion in relief funding included in the CARES Act. In June the Board voted to allocate $15 million of that funding for business revitalization and economic support — $10 million of which has been set aside for the new grant program, $4 million that will be directed to nonprofit organizations in the community and another $1 million which is being considered for a touchless gift card program.

This is the second round of funding made available through Stanislaus County; in April, the Small Business Relief Fund was established and provided grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses with 50 employees or fewer. In total, $3 million in CARES funding and an additional $150,000 in community contributions were distributed to 344 businesses.

The new Business Grant Program will accept online applications July 31 through Aug. 28. At least 50 percent of the funding will be allocated for small businesses that employ up to 50 full-time equivalent employees, with a maximum grant funding opportunity of $25,000.
Businesses employing more than 50 full-time equivalent employees are also eligible under this program, with maximum grant funding for medium and large businesses capped at $50,000.

Similar to the last round of grant funding, applications will be scored based on criteria that includes prior business health, the level of COVID-19 impact to the business, business planning and impact, along with details regarding the intended use of funds.

The Board of Supervisors also approved in concept two additional recommendations: the Non-Profit Support and Community Match Fund, which are modeled after other local programs (the Resilient Stanislaus Fund and Downtown Modesto Partnership RAD Card). The non-profit support program includes a $4 million infusion of local support funding for three categories: direct service providers, youth services/activities and community centered arts/culture nonprofit organizations.

The Community Match Fund will allocate $1 million to implement a touchless gift card program countywide, allowing consumers to purchase gifts cards in several denominations and matching funds to stimulate the Stanislaus economy and support local restaurants and retailers (including personal care services).

The Board of Supervisors will consider details of these programs at a future meeting. The Business Grant program details and application are available at www.stanworkforce.com (click on the COVID-19 link then the Stanislaus County Business Grant link). Application navigators are available to assist applicants in Spanish as needed and applicants can call 209-558-4473 for additional information.