The city of Bakersfield on Friday unveiled a new $ 1.9 million program to help local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by granting loans of up to 50,000 US dollars are offered based on the amount of their payroll.
Applications for the new ReStart Loan-to-Grant program will be accepted online from 8:00 a.m. on Monday. Qualified recipients must be within city limits, have 25 or fewer full-time employees, and have annual sales of no more than $ 2 million, among other things.
The program is at least the third wave of pandemic aid offered by the city. It is funded by the Federal Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus.
Demand for the money is likely to be strong as a number of reasons have made it harder for small businesses to get financial relief during the crisis, said Kelly Bearden, director of Cal State Bakersfield’s Small Business Development Center.
“It’s another tool in the old shed,” he said.
The city said applications are expected to be accepted by November 30, or until the new fund is depleted. Companies that receive money through the program could spend it on salaries, operating expenses, insurance, rentals, supplies, or utilities.
The loans will be granted if the recipients continue to work for 12 months after receiving the money, according to the guidelines published on Friday. In the meantime, they must make 3 percent interest payments every month.
Non-profit businesses are not eligible, nor are churches, credit institutions, or businesses involved in gambling or adult entertainment.
Individual companies are limited to a single loan and the amount is charged at $ 2,500 per employee.
The program is administered by Access Plus Capital, a branch of the Fresno Community Development Financial Institution.
Last month, the city launched a separate ReStart program specifically aimed at micro-businesses. For companies with five or fewer full-time employees, grants totaling $ 70,000 between $ 3,500 and $ 5,000 have been made available.
Previously, the city’s B-Cares program, also funded by federal funds, had given nearly $ 6 million to 938 companies affected by the pandemic.
To apply for the ReStart Loan-to-Grant program, call Access Plus Capital at (661) 448-2133 or Bakersfield Women’s Business Center (661) 567-0410. You can also find information online at https://www.accesspluscapital.com/covid-relief/.