Almost all small businesses and many nonprofits will be eligible to receive grants from the $50 million expansion of the state’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, the EDA announced this morning.
The state also announced the program will reserve $15 million of the funding for businesses located in ZIP codes designated as Opportunity Zones, in an effort to ensure more money goes to underserved communities.
The first version of the program, introduced and carried out in late March and early April, had just $5 million available for a small number of specific businesses. The second phase is much broader in both its funds and those eligible to receive them.
The changes announced Friday to increase eligibility for phase two include:
- Increasing the cap on the number of full-time employees: Companies with up to 25 employees may apply; the limit was 10 in the first phase;
- Elimination of North American Industry Classification System code restrictions: This will make nearly all small businesses eligible;
- Increased eligibility of nonprofits: Elimination of NAICS codes makes 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(7) nonprofit organizations eligible;
- Inclusion of home-based businesses and sole proprietors: They were not eligible in the first phase.
The EDA did not announce the date it will begin accepting applications — details are still being worked out.
The EDA did say that $5 million of the program will be reserved for companies that were told they were on a “waiting list” from the first phase. Those told they were on the “oversubscribed” list will need to reapply.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded; it is not clear how the size of the grant will be determined. There will be no application fee. And applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
In order to qualify, the small business or nonprofit must certify the following:
- It was in operation on Feb. 15, 2020;
- It has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak;
- It will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any employees.
All applicants also will need to file an affidavit identifying all previous COVID-19-related funding they have received, including Paycheck Protection Program grants from the federal government and all loans and grants from the Small Business Administration.