San Rafael, CA – Beginning February 22, qualified small business owners in Marin County may apply to receive a portion of $915,000 in federal relief funding targeted businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be in the form of grants of no more than $10,000 and interest-free loans of no more than $50,000.
CARES Act money from the federal government is on the way to Marin County businesses hurt especially hard by the public health pandemic.
In a recommendation by the Marin County Community Development Agency, 53% of the Marin County Small Business Fund will be targeted for businesses in or near San Rafael, 27% to those in or near Novato, and 20% for the rest of the county. Funding distribution is tied to coronavirus infection rates throughout the county. Businesses will be selected by a lottery because of the expected high demand for assistance. The fund’s webpage has received over 1,700 hits in just more than a month.
The County’s partner on the funding distribution is the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), established in San Francisco in 1973. MEDA will use federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds by way of the CARES Act to disburse $800,000 in zero-interest loans and $115,000 in grants over the next few months. On January 12, the County entered an agreement with MEDA to help distribute the funds.
The loan inquiry launches February 22 and forms must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. March 15. To sign up to be notified when it launches, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses qualify by meeting the following:
- Providing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)
- Be a business located in Marin and with a business address in Marin
- Have a valid Marin business license
- Be a for-profit business in good standing
- Have annual business revenues of less than $2.5 million
- Have no town, city, or county tax liens or judgments
- Demonstrate a 25% drop in revenues since January 1, 2020
- Have no more than 50 employees
- Have not previously received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)loan of more than $150,000
MEDA serves historically under-resourced families throughout the Bay Area, especially those among the Latinx population, by promoting economic equity and social justice. This program is MEDA’s first foray into Marin. The use of CDBG funds prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, sex, and familial status. Marin’s Countywide Priority Setting Committee that oversees CDBG funding recommendations prioritizes funding for projects that serve these protected classes.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors has encouraged CDA to pursue federal funding to help keep local businesses alive during this economically challenging time. “Economy” is one of the Board of Supervisors' priority “Four E's” along with equity, environment, and education.