The City of San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce are coming together again to provide local support for businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SLO City Small Business Relief Fund was first created in August with $260,000 from CARES Act funding and private donations. After a rigorous review process, 52 businesses were each awarded $5,000.
The City of SLO has allocated an additional $500,000 for a second round of grant funding, which launches on December 23. The replenishment of the SLO City Small Business Relief Fund will go to support local businesses with fewer than 50 employees. One hundred, $5,000 grants are being allocated from the City’s General Fund, made possible by the recently passed Measure G-20.
“Helping small businesses recover is vital to the overall recovery of our community,” said City Manager Derek Johnson. “We are proud to partner with the SLO Chamber to continue to find ways to support the economic stability, recovery and resiliency of our City. ”
Applications for the second round of grant funding open Wednesday, December 23 and will remain open until 5 p.m. on Friday, January 8. All for-profit businesses within city limits, not just SLO Chamber members, are eligible and can apply here. Recipients will be notified by January 31, 2021.
“We are grateful to the City for acting swiftly and prioritizing this funding to provide some relief to small businesses as we continue to weather these challenging times, said Jim Dantona, President and CEO of the SLO Chamber. “The timing of this funding is crucial as so many businesses have been adversely affected due to the Stay-At-Home order and continued increase of COVID cases in our region.”
Businesses of all sizes in San Luis Obispo are experiencing impacts but given the limited resources available, the relief program will prioritize applications based on the following factors:
- For-profit businesses owned and operated within the city limits of San Luis Obispo
- The business must have a current Business License and have no active or ongoing enforcement cases
- Be a sole proprietor and/or employer with no more than 50 employees (full-time and part-time)
- Be locally and independently owned (businesses not part of a national/regional chain or franchise preferred)
- Be a business that has experienced a significant decline in revenue due to COVID-19 beginning January 2020 through December 2020
- Previous grant recipients from the Comevo and SLO Chamber countywide fund and the first round of the SLO City Small Business Relief will not be disqualified, although preference will be given to those who have not yet been awarded a grant
This grant can be used for:
- Paying rent and utilities
- Payroll expenses
- Cost of PPE and cleaning supplies needed to comply with public health guidelines
- Capital improvements needed to comply with public health guidelines
- Paying outstanding debt to vendors, if those debts were incurred after March 1, 2020
- Other immediate operational costs
Other assistance and tools may be available for businesses not qualifying under the small business relief fund — please reach out to the SLO Chamber if you need help connecting with resources for your business.