City Announces Details on COVID-19 Small Business Loan-to-Grant Program

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand joined Councilmembers Mike Karbassi and Esmeralda Soria, and Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) CEO Emilia Reyes to announce joint economic relief action to help small businesses in Fresno affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The partnership between the City of Fresno, Fresno EOC and Access Plus Capital, a local small business loan fund, aims to help local economic recovery with funding for those small business owners who need it most.

On March 25, 2020, Fresno City Council passed the “Save Our Small Businesses Act” that established a $750,000 small business relief loan-to-grant program, which will be administered by Access Plus Capital.  Businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can apply for a zero-interest loan with no application, packaging, origination or service fees. The loans will be forgiven after one year if the business is still operating.

“Small businesses are the heart of our economy, and they’re experiencing unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Brand.  “I am proud of how our residents and businesses are looking out for each other during these challenging times and the willingness of our private partners to join the City in our effort to bring immediate relief to business owners who are struggling during this pandemic is not only encouraging, it’s inspiring.”

Under the terms of the ordinance, businesses impacted by COVID-19 with 1 to 5 employees can apply for a $5,000 loan-to-grant, while businesses impacted by COVID-19 with 6 to 25 employees are eligible for a $10,000 loan-to-grant.   The business must have a valid City of Fresno Business License Tax Certificate, have been in business no later than February 15, 2020, and not have any outstanding tax liens, judgments or conditional use permit (CUP) violations. 

The application portal for the Save Our Small Business Program will be available on Access Plus Capital’s website at and will be open until 11:59 p.m., Sunday, April 12, 2020.  If there are more applications than available funding, there will be a random drawing to determine which businesses get the loan-to-grants.  Potential applicants can call (559) 263-1360 or email [email protected] for more information.