OC Supervisors Announce Small Business Grants Funded By CARES Act

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County Supervisors Andrew Do and Lisa Bartlett have unveiled plans for small businesses and nonprofits to apply for federal economic stimulus money to help them recover from COVID-19 related shutdown orders.

The board of supervisors last week adopted a plan to dole out $75 million in CARES Act funding evenly among the five districts. Vice Chairman Do,representing the First District, decided to establish a lottery in which small businesses and nonprofits could apply for $10,000 each from that pot, using some remaining funds for other various “economic development expenses''related to COVID-19.

“We feel like with $10,000 grants they can at least get the inventory started and pay for some of the labor they would need to have in place to start a business again,'' Do told City News Service.

Do estimated that about 1,300 organizations would receive grants in the First District, which includes Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster,unincorporated Midway City and the northernmost portion of Fountain Valley. The money will go to organizations with up to 10 employees, Do said.

“The really small businesses, mostly family owned, they don't have the size or sophistication to tap into the Paycheck Protection Program loans or other programs from the state,'' Do said. “This is an emergency infusion of funds to help them restart and reopen.''

Use of the funding will be restricted to rent, payroll, utilities,insurance, accounts payable, personal protective equipment, inventory, office supplies, professional services and COVID-19 measures.

Bartlett, who represents the Fifth District, has a similar plan thatwould dole out grants through a lottery system managed by the Small Business Development Center and Cal State Fullerton. Businesses with no more than 25 full-time employees will be eligible.

Eighty percent of the money will go to small businesses and 20% to nonprofits, Bartlett said.

Her district includes Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and portions of Irvine and unincorporated Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch and Las Flores.

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