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COVID-19 Relief and Assistance for Small Business

The Controller’s Office has compiled the following resources from various agencies to help you navigate available COVID-related aid. For additional program information, please visit the agency’s website or contact your local government. The Controller’s Office will update these resources as more program information becomes available.  Visit the California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website for information about the state’s response to the pandemic.

As of March 25, 2021

Tax Relief and Filing Extensions
California is offering tax relief and filing extensions to many businesses. Visit the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to see if any of these apply to your business. Varies
Small Business Relief Payment Plans for Sales and Use Tax
California currently provides a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. California small businesses with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales may qualify. This relief only applies to sales and use tax on returns with original due dates between December 15, 2020 and April 30, 2021. A business that previously took advantage of the 12-month, interest-free payment plan that must be paid in full by July 31, 2021, may also apply. Apply through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration:
Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program
Provides competitive micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions. Grants arevailable to California-based businesses operating since at least June 1, 2019 that have been affected by COVID-19.Small businesses with $1,000 to $100,000 in annual gross revenue are eligible for a $5,000 grant. Businesses with revenue between $100,000 and $1,000,000 are eligible for $15,000. Businesses with revenue greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000 are eligible for a $25,000 grant. Select the county your business is located in at the link below to begin your application:
Round 3:
March 11, 2021

Round 4:
March 23, 2021

Round 5:
March 31, 2021
California Rebuilding Fund
This program provides loans of up to $100,000 or 100 percent of a business’ average monthly revenues for three months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, whichever amount is lower. Businesses that employ 50 or less full-time equivalent employees and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible. Businesses also must have suffered a direct economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 that materially affected operations to be eligible. Begin the pre-application process here:
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program provides loans to help businesses retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Borrowers may become eligible for loan forgiveness at a later date. The following entities may qualify: Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and the self-employed; any small business that meets the Small Business Administration (SBA) industry size standard, or the alternative size standard); any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of: 500 employees, or that meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500; any business with a NAICS code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs fewer than 500 people per location. Find a participating lender near you to apply:
May 31, 2021
IRS Employee Retention Tax Credit
This program provides a fully refundable tax credit equal to 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer financially affected by COVID-19. Any business that operated during calendar year 2020 and either fully or partially suspended operation during 2020 due to shutdown orders, or experienced a significant decline in gross receipts, may qualify. Learn more here:
June 30, 2021
U.S. Small Business Administration Debt Relief Assistance
This program provides debt relief to existing SBA borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Borrowers of SBA loan programs 7(a), 504, and microloans that were approved through September 27, 2020 are eligible.
Contact your lender for questions about assistance for your SBA loan. TBD
U.S. Small Business Administration Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
This program provides grants equal to 45 percent of gross earned revenue for eligible businesses, with a maximum single grant award of $10 million. Qualifying businesses include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, zoos and aquariums, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives.
SBA is in the process of setting up the grant program and is not yet accepting applications. Email for more information. TBD
Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee
The Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program allows access to capital for small businesses that do not qualify for federal disaster funds, including businesses in low-wealth and immigrant communities. Businesses located in California with 1-750 employees that have been negatively affected by COVID-19, as well as eligible nonprofit organizations, may qualify. Find a participating lender at, or email the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank’s Small Business Finance Center at TBD
U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans
These loans provide up to $500,000 in financial relief for small businesses and nonprofit organizations experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.
Applicants must be physically located in the U.S. and have suffered losses due to COVID-19. Eligible applicants include: businesses with 500 or fewer employees or those defined as small per SBA guidelines; cooperatives with 500 or fewer employees; agricultural enterprises with 500 or fewer employees; most private nonprofits; faith-based organizations; sole proprietorships and independent contractors. Apply through the SBA:
December 31, 2021
U.S. Small Business Administration Express Bridge Loans
These loans allow small businesses who currently have a business relationship with a SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. Small businesses located in any state, territory, or the District of Columbia that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify.
Contact your SBA lender. March 13, 2021
Small Business License Fee Exemptions
California provides two years of fee relief for restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), as well as barbering and cosmetology businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs. Review bar and restaurant guidelines:
Barber and cosmetology FAQs are here:
Restaurants and bars will apply through ABC:
The fee waiver for barbering and cosmetology licensees will be applied automatically.
Commercial Eviction Moratorium
California has suspended any state law that would prevent local governments from protecting commercial tenants from eviction due to a COVID-19 hardship. This moratorium is dependent on local government actions and may not apply to all areas. Commercial tenants should contact their local government to see if they are covered by a local eviction moratorium. June 30, 2021
California Competes Tax Credit
California Competes is an income tax credit for businesses willing to relocate to California or expand their existing in-state operations. Any business can apply for the California Competes Tax Credit, which is available statewide to all industries. Begin your application through the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development’s portal at:
Round three of applications ends March 29, 2021