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There’s new grant money available for very small businesses in California. Officially called the Microbusiness Covid-19 relief grant program… it’s administered statewide by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate, or CalOSBA. It gives out grants up to $2,500. In Sonoma County, the Economic Development Board is managing the program locally.
"So I think micro businesses, you're looking at folks who they would sell their products in like a farmer's market, like maybe the creative industry or any artist, or they have like a mobile food truck business, or perhaps they're, um, operating in childcare." Lauren Cartwright said. "There's a lot of really small businesses that just make enough to barely get by."
 
Lauren Cartwright is from the Economic Development Board, or EDB, she said the grant program is aimed at those micro businesses who fell through the cracks of previous covid relief efforts.
 
"In 2021, they had run a program targeting small businesses, and now they have a second wave of grant targeting micro businesses. So we're looking for folks who have five or less full-time employees. Uh, they have less than $50,000 per year in gross revenue for their business. And this business also serves as their primary source of income." Cartwright said. "So this is really trying to target folks who maybe weren't able to get access to any other, um, state, whether it's because their revenue was already so low or they didn't meet a certain income or bracket."

Cartwright said the EDB has partnered with community organizations like the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Sonoma Small Business Development Center to set up support centers for interested applicants.
 
"We have nine different centers, um, throughout Sonoma county that are providing both in person and virtual assistance." Cartwright said.
 
The grant application window runs from April 1st to May 1st, or until all funds are exhausted. Find more information on Sonoma County’s Economic Development Board website.
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