Program will provide funds to support small businesses and employers impacted by COVID-19 with CARES Act funding; applications via Workforce Development Board and Small Business
Beginning Tuesday, September 15, 2020, small businesses and employers in Solano County that are facing financial impacts and layoffs due to COVID-19, are urged to apply to the County’s Rebuild Solano’s Small Businesses Grant Program; designed to support businesses and employers impacted by the ongoing pandemic health emergency.
On Tuesday, August 25, the Solano County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $2 million in CARES Act funding to establish the Rebuild Solano’s Small Business Grant Program. The Rebuild Solano’s Small Businesses Grant Program, administered on behalf of the Workforce Development Board (WDB) of Solano County and the Solano County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), will collaborate to administer grant funding to approximately 400 small businesses throughout Solano County. The grant funds are designed to help prevent layoffs and closures, all while giving employers the opportunity to pivot their business operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency.
“The last six months have been brutal on many of our small businesses,” says Tim Murrill, Director of the Solano Small Business Development Center. “This $2 million in grant funding from the County will provide a much-needed boost to help businesses weather the COVID-19 storm.”
To qualify for the COVID-19 Rebuild Solano’s Small Businesses Grant Program, eligible applicants are for-profit businesses, locally owned in Solano County, and is in good standing with the State and County, and can demonstrate a need for funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency. Awards will be given based on eligibility criteria and the demonstrated needs of the business. Priority will be given to businesses that have 20 employees or fewer and who have not received grants from other locally-funded COVID-19 small business programs.
The WDB of Solano County, in coordination with the SBDC, have partnered with local cities and chambers of commerce to provide technical assistance and targeted outreach to small businesses and industries that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic health emergency.
“We want to maintain a strong Solano County base of small businesses that represent the diversity within our community,” says Heather Henry, President and Executive Director at the WDB of Solano County. “Small businesses are the essential component of our business community.”
The Rebuild Solano’s Small Businesses Grant Program funds will be used to reimburse qualified expenditures between March 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020 can be used for the following, including:
- Purchasing computer equipment or software that allows remote work capabilities
- Paying for services or tools to convert to online or outdoor sales or delivery
- Purchasing cleaning or sanitation supplies/services that reduce exposure and transmission
- New marketing strategies to engage clientele under the impacts of COVID-19
- Machinery or equipment needed to reduce exposure or pivot product sales
- Replacing product or inventory lost or spoiled due to the COVID-19 shut down
- Activities that address supply chain challenges or to acquire new bids
- Other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for business closure
Grant funds cannot be used to pay for rent, employee wages or benefits.
The WDB of Solano County and SBDC will host three community webinars on the Rebuild Solano’s Small Businesses Grant Program, including two in English; Wednesday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 22 at 10 a.m.; and one in Spanish; Thursday, September 17 at 11 a.m. Applicants can register for webinars, apply for and submit grant applications by visiting www.SolanoEmployment.org, www.SolanoSBDC.org. Businesses can also register for webinars by emailing Brianna Boyd at BBoyd@SolanoWDB.org and by calling (707) 863-3500 for more information. Please note, recordings of the community webinars will be made available on the WDB of Solano County and SBDC websites.
In-person grant application assistance is also available at the WDB of Solano County office, located at 500 Chadbourne Road in Fairfield between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. No appointment necessary. Visitors are required to wear a face covering and implement social distancing best practices.
The Rebuilding Solano’s Small Businesses Grant Program application period starts Tuesday, September 15. Applicants are encouraged to apply by or before September 30, 2020. Grant recipients will be notified of their award in October. For more information, follow the Workforce Development Board of Solano County on social media @SolanoWDB, the Solano County Small Business Development Board @SBDCSolano and #RebuildSolanoBusiness.