Updates on Available Business Assistance and Resources
January 20, 2021

Dear Business Representatives,

Happy new year! We hope that you enjoyed a warm and safe holiday season. As we enter 2021, there are important new resources that could benefit your business as the Bay Area remains in the Regional Stay At Home Order. Information about various programs can be found below.

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
Over 300,000 applications were submitted for consideration during Round 1 of the grant program. Approval notifications will be sent out January 15-22 and funds will be disbursed over a 45-day verification period beginning Friday, January 22. While Round 1 of funding has closed as of January 13 at 11:59pm, applications for Round 2 of funding will open again on Tuesday, February 2 at 8:00am and will close on 6:00pm on Monday, February 8. Any eligible applicants who did not receive an award for Round 1 do not need to re-apply; their application will automatically be rolled over for consideration in Round 2. More information about the grant program and application process can be found here.

First Draw and Second Draw PPP Loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the week of January 11, 2021 and will continue to accept applications until March 31, 2021. If businesses have not received any PPP funds they can apply for a First Draw PPP Loan by filling out an application and submitting to an SBA participating lender for review. The SBA is also allowing eligible businesses that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan; the deadline is also March 31, 2021. PPP funds can be used to pay for payroll, rent, utilities, and other expenses. Businesses can also still apply for EIDL loans to receive working capital to cover expenses like rent, utilities, and employee health care benefits.

Opportunity Fund Partners with Credit Unions to Help Small Business Access Credit
Meriwest Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union and UMe Credit Union have announced a partnership with the Opportunity Fund to commit $1 billion to invest in minority-owned small business in the next two years. The Opportunity Fund will provide working capital loans from $2,600 to $100,000 with flexible underwriting criteria, less documentation requirements than that of other lenders, and multi-lingual customer service representatives. This is a great opportunity for small business owners, particularly women, immigrants, and entrepreneurs of color, to gain access to inclusive, affordable credit to help their businesses stay viable through the pandemic.

SCC Board of Supervisors Approves $6 Million for California Rebuilding Fund
On January 12, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved $6 million to be made available for small business loans through the California Rebuilding Fund. While loans will be distributed statewide, the County-approved funds will be earmarked for small businesses within Santa Clara County. Businesses can find more information including the pre-application form for the CA Rebuilding Fund here.

Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program
Signed into law on December 27, 2020, The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act allocates $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues with $2 billion reserved specifically for eligible applicants with up to 50 full-time employees. Businesses may qualify for a grant equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue in 2019 up to a maximum of $10 million. Grants can be used for specific expenses including rent or mortgage payments, payroll, utilities, and advertising. The program is not yet accepting applications as the Small Business Administration is still setting up the grant program, however when the program goes live, businesses that have suffered the most economic hardship will be processed first. Please click here for more information about the grant and eligibility requirement or send an email.

Coming to Milpitas
Hosted by the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce, Coming to Milpitas is a new program that offers businesses insight into potential opportunities for new locations or capabilities for expansion, what the community is looking for in regard to businesses, and what the unmet needs of local businesses are. It is a great way for everyone in the community to engage in a constructive conversation in strengthening the City’s business and economic environment. The first forum will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 7pm; please register to participate in the event. For more information please contact Chamber Board Member Robert Jung at rhjung@gmail.com

Small Business Development Center Webinar Series
In partnership with Regional Lending Specialist Manager Chris Horton of the NorCal Small Business Development Center, a series of webinars is coming soon to present important updates on financial assistance for small businesses. Please stay tuned for more information.

Additional Resources
The County of Santa Clara created a business engagement landing page on its COVID-19 website with valuable resources and information. Information can be found here or by calling the new COVID-19 Business Call Center at (408) 961-5500.

If you have any questions or need business assistance during COVID-19, please visit our website and do not hesitate to contact the Office of Economic Development team by sending an email. Assistance is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and other languages. We will continue to send out pertinent updates as they are made available to keep you informed.

In community spirit,

Alex Andrade
Economic Development Director
Phone: (408) 586-3046
455 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas CA 95035