Chula Vista and the San Diego Foundation offer COVID-19 relief money to small businesses, nonprofits – The San Diego Union

The city of Chula Vista has partnered with the San Diego Foundation to provide grant money to small businesses and nonprofits recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

The $3.6 million Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund comes from the South County city’s remaining federal funding from the American Rescue Plan as well as local funds from the San Diego Foundation.

Eligible organizations operating in Chula Vista can apply for a grant — which is money that does not need to be paid back — starting today. The applications close on Oct. 27 and they will not be reviewed until after the deadline closes.

Interested applicants should note that accuracy is more important than submitting early, as these grants are not being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Daniel Fitzgerald, regional director of the Small Business Development Center network said that at this point in the pandemic, local businesses are still trying to recoup losses from months of hindered operations, incurred debt or deferred maintenance.

“This is an opportunity to be able to kind of make up that lost ground,” he said.

For instance, many arts and culture organizations that support community events and gatherings were hit hard by lost ticket sales or canceled events. This program gives a boost to nonprofits so they can give back and “make the community a community” Fitzgerald said.

The small business grant program is geared toward self-employed workers, independent contractors, sole proprietors and corporations with no more than 100 employees. Small businesses must also have been operating before April 1, 2020, and generated net profits under $150,000 or gross revenue less than $250,000.

Both small businesses and nonprofits must demonstrate a decline in revenue or services as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Small businesses based in Chula Vista can receive a maximum of $10,000 in grant funding and nonprofits that operate in the city can receive up to $100,000. Priority consideration will be given to industries that were especially hard hit — such as day cares or food services — as well as entities that have not already received COVID-19 relief money.

Businesses can reach out to the South San Diego Small Business Development Center office with any questions or to receive help on their application. They will also offer free assistance in Spanish. Additional information and eligibility requirements can be found on the grant program’s website.