The need to combat the spread of COVID-19 by Sheltering in Place has demanded that we all prioritize the greater good. No one has been more challenged by the restrictions than small business-owners, with many asked to temporarily relinquish their freedom of movement and their livelihoods at once. We work with business-owners to provide emergency funds and, when state regulations allow, help them re-open safely.
In 2020, our team deployed nearly $5 million to 735 struggling small businesses in Fresno, representing 3,200+ jobs.
Our team distributed $500,000 in grants to Fresno’s non-profits in 2020 including organizations supporting veterans, the homeless, and families in crisis.
Fresno Business Owners, Inspired by Challenge
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2020 Coronavirus Relief Grants: Stop-Gap Measures for an Unprecedented Crisis
Save Our Small Businesses Grants
The City of Fresno was one of the first cities in California to stand up a large-scale business relief program: the City Council approved the Save Our Small Businesses program on March 25, 2020, ultimately combining General Fund and CARES Act dollars to form a $4.65 million fund.
Fresno Micro Farmers Farm to Family Program
The City Council on May 14, 2020, voted to dedicate $500,000 in CARES Act funds to the Fresno Micro Farmers Farm to Family Program. Eligible small farmers could receive grants of $1,000 if they agree to donate surplus products to the Central California Food Bank.
Temporary Outdoor Dining Permits
In May, the Fresno City Council voted to allow restaurants and other businesses unable to operate at full indoor capacity to temporarily operate in parking lots and common outdoor areas. In business areas without large private parking lots, such as Downtown and the Tower District, the city also subsidized and fast-tracked approval for outdoor dining areas known as “parklets”.
Housing Retention Grant Programs
Beginning July 1, qualifying City of Fresno residents impacted by COVID-19 were invited to apply for a housing retention grant through local community benefit organizations in the amounts of $1,500 per individual and $3,000 per family to provide assistance with housing payments and related expenses.
Fresno County HUB Grants
The Fresno County Helping Underserved Businesses (HUB) Grant also went to businesses operating in Fresno, ultimately distributing $5 million in $5,000 grants to businesses that meet the requirements, including at least two years of business operations and 10 or less full-time employees as of March 15, 2020.