Enrique Ramirez, owner and stylist of Salon Passion in Camarillo closes his salon for the second time due to the rise of COVID-19.
Ventura County Star
Simi Valley has launched a program in which small businesses slammed by COVID-19 restrictions can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help them meet their payrolls for low- and moderate-income employees.
The grants, which can also be used for the businesses’ rents or mortgages, do not have to be paid back.
Many small businesses have suffered during the deadly coronavirus pandemic because of government shutdown orders and/or a drop-off in customers.
“Even though the grant is to the business owner, the whole objective of the program is to keep low- and moderate-income people employed,” Julia Ramirez, senior management analyst for the city’s environmental services department, said Friday.
Under the Small Business Grant Program, an employee can make no more than 80 percent of Ventura County’s annual median income, which has a ceiling of $63,250.
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Some of the eligibility criteria for the funding program, approved by the City Council in June, are that a business:
- Is open or in the process of reopening.
- Is physically located within the city on a commercial property.
- Is locally-owned: a resident of Ventura County or someone who lives within 15 miles of Simi Valley.
- Was established prior to Feb. 1.
- Employs between one and nine full-time equivalent employees.
- Can show the financial impact of COVID-19.
- Can demonstrate how funding will help preserve jobs.
Simi Valley has launched a program in which eligible small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help them pay wages to their low-to-moderate income employees. (Photo: STAR FILE PHOTO)
Nonprofit organizations, home-based businesses and businesses undergoing bankruptcy proceedings are ineligible to apply. Elected officials or employees of Simi Valley also cannot apply for the funds.
The program is funded by $182,000 in federal Community Development Block Grants provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a $2.2 trillion economic relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump in March.
The program’s application period began Wednesday and will run through Oct. 9.
To apply online and for more information, go to simivalley.org/CDBGCVPrograms.
Priority will be given to applicants who have not received any other grant funding or assistance.
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Mike Harris covers the East County cities of Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as transportation countywide. You can contact him at [email protected] or 805-437-0323.
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