The City of Bakersfield is pleased to announce a new Business Assistance Grant program with the goal of helping local small businesses and sole proprietors impacted by the COVD-19 pandemic and related State-implemented closures.
This new program makes $3 million in City Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds immediately available to local businesses in need.
Businesses located within the City limits will be eligible for grants in $5,000 increments up to $20,000. The amount each business would be eligible for is based on the business’ total full-time employees. Only businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees and revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 are eligible.
Interested business owners can find more eligibility information and apply for the grant at http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/BCARES. The funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The grant guidelines are also provided in a separate, supplemental document.
“The City of Bakersfield wants to be as business-friendly and supportive as possible in these difficult times,” said Christian Clegg, Bakersfield City Manager. “These allocations are important to making sure our small business sector will survive this unprecedented impact and get back to business-as-usual quickly.”
Beyond this new Business Assistance Grant Program, the City plans to allocate CARES funding for forgivable business loans, grants for non-profit organizations, public-private partnerships providing job training and technical assistance to local businesses, and relief specific to the travel and tourism industry.
The City of Bakersfield recognizes the importance of local government partnerships and is working with the County of Kern to appropriately utilize each agency’s assets to best support local businesses. In order to make support available to local organizations as quickly as possible, if approved by the City Council, the City plans to commit $3 million to the Kern Small Business Relief Program and $2 million to the County’s Nonprofit COVID-19 Economic Support Grant Program. Both allocations will be earmarked for businesses and non-profits located within the City limits only.
Of the $33.5 million in CARES Act funding the City has received from the State of California, nearly half has been allocated to support local businesses, non-profits and other organizations to support the local community.