Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant

**On Tuesday, September 15, 2020 City Council Meeting, the City Council approved the following changes identified below with underlined text. 

Overview & Objectives

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Wasco small businesses and their employees, the City of Wasco has committed up to $150,000 in one-time funds to create a Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

The objective of this program is to offer immediate financial assistance to independently owned and operated small businesses with the City of Wasco to aid in maintaining their business and workforce.

Program Overview

  1. Grants of $3,000 for qualified independently owned and operated small businesses with at least one employee on record through 10 employees as of the State of California’s Public Health Department order dated March 19, 2020. 
  2. Grants of $5,000 for qualified independently owned and operated small businesses with more than 10 and no more than 25 employees as of the State of California’s Public Health Department order dated March 19, 2020. 
  3. Qualified independently owned and operated Sole-Proprietorship businesses may qualify for a $3,000 grant under certain conditions.
  4. Grant funds may only be used to reimburse expenditures from July 1, 2020 through the date of the application for the following business interruption items: payroll* or lease payments for business premises.Mortgage payments do not qualify. *Payroll expenses is defined as W-2 compensation, group health care benefits, retirement benefits, or payroll taxes.
  5. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis for qualified applicants.

 Eligibility Requirements

  1. For a $5,000 grant award, applicants must be independently owned and operated small businesses with more than 10 and no more than 25 employees as of the State of California’s Public Health Department order dated March 19, 2020.  
  2. For a $3,000 grant award, applicants must be independently owned and operated small businesses with at least one employee on record through 10 employees as of the State of California’s Public Health Department order dated March 19, 2020.  
  3. Qualified independently owned and operated Sole-Proprietorship businesses may qualify for a $3,000 grant under certain conditions. If Sole-Proprietorship business subleases a portion of their business’s storefront and received “rent” from sublessee during the reimbursement period, they will be deemed ineligible for grant award. If Sole-Proprietorship business did not receive rent from sublessee, Sole-proprietorship business must provide a written statement from each sublessee verifying they did not pay “rent” for the months in which sole-proprietorship business is seeking reimbursement. 
  4. Applicants must verify the business has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 by completing and providing the Estimated Disaster Economic Worksheet.  
  5. Applicant must submit a current copy of its W-9 form.
  6. Applicants must operate out of a physical commercial storefront within the city limits of Wasco.  
  7. Business owner who subleases a store front from another business owner does not qualify for grant.
  8. Applicants must have an active City of Wasco Business License.  
  9. Applicants must be in good standing with the City. *Including but not limited to past due utility bills.
  10. Applicants must have been in operation in the City of Wasco for at least one year as of March 1, 2020.
  11. Applicant must not have been a recipient of Kern Recovers Forgivable Loan program, the federal Paycheck Protection Program or any federal or state program paid through with Coronavirus Relief Funds or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.

 PLEASE NOTE

An independently owned franchise or chain store located in Wasco will not be eligible unless all franchisees of the franchise or all chain stores within the chain are located within the boundaries of Kern County and provided the franchisee or chain store did not receive funding through the Kern Recovers Small Business Forgivable Loan Program, Federal Pay Check Protection Program, or any other state or federal program paid through with Coronavirus Relief Funds or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. Businesses restricted to patrons above the age of 18 will not be eligible for the award (i.e., smoke shops and bars are not eligible).

Application and Funding Process:


Applications will be available starting the week of September 8, 2020.

  1.  Grant applications can be accessed and filled out online and can be emailed directly to masobolewski@cityofwasco.orgor placed in the drop box located outside City Hall (746 8th Street).
    1. Businesses will be required to complete the “Estimated Disaster Economic Worksheet” that documents current or forecasted estimates of economic impact.  
    2. Businesses will be required to provide a current copy of a W-9.  
  2. If the application is found complete, the application will be reviewed for eligibility, and applicants will receive a notice of award within a target of two weeks following submission.  
    1. In all cases, the City reserves the right to reject any and all applications in the event the City identifies a potential conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. Submission of an application in no way obligates the City to award a grant, and the City reserves the right to reject any or all applications, wholly or in part, at any time, without penalty. 
    2. . Applicants with missing required documentation will be notified and application will be set aside for future consideration until required documentation is provided. In this case, a two-week notice of award will not apply.
  3. Awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified and completed applicants while funds are available.
  4. If awarded, the application will become a binding contract (Agreement) between both parties.
  5. Applications must include documentation including but not limited to: payroll documents, employee paystubs, copy of lease agreement naming the grant applicant as the lessee, copies of checks indicating lease payment, or redacted bank statements indicating lease payment, etc. Additionally, grant applicant must be able to provide financial documentation of business transactions. Other documentation may be requested to validate application. Applicants will be required to:
    1. Certify via a written statement how many jobs were retained or how many months of lease payments for the business premises were reimbursed, allowing the business to continue operations. 
  6. Businesses receiving funding will be encouraged to:
    1. If applicable, adopt Federal and State guidance for operating their businesses (social distancing, clean down procedures, limiting in-store occupancy, etc.). 
    2. If applicable, prioritize the delivery of food and services to seniors and economically vulnerable populations.

   7. Grant funds will be issued upon execution of the Agreement.

   8. The program will remain in effect during the City of Wasco’s declared state of local emergency and while funds are available.

*Documentation in Spanish will be available soon.

Grant Application Documents 

Estimated Disaster Economic Worksheet (PDF)

Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Application (PDF)