Small Business Relief Program – Round 2

Monterey County CARES

Monterey County CARES logo and Monterey County logoMonterey County, through its Monterey County CARES Small Business Relief Program, is providing a second round of financial assistance to local Small businesses that have experienced a loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

This program provides up to $10,000 in grant-funded reimbursement to businesses with 5-25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for eligible COVID-19 related operating expenses.

NOTE: The application period will open on February 8, 2021.

  The Application Period Will Open on February 8, 2021

Program Overview

Monterey County, through its Monterey County CARES Small Business Relief Program, is providing a second round of financial assistance to local small businesses that have experienced a loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

This program provides up to $10,000 in grant-funded reimbursement to businesses with 5-25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for eligible COVID-19 related operating expenses.

Eligible expenses include payroll costs, rent/lease costs, basic utility payments, and supplies required to operate safely and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOTE: The application period will open on February 8, 2021.

Monterey County SBRP Guidance

Funding

  • $825,000 available for 83+ small businesses to receive grants of up to $10,000
  • Award amounts will depend on the business’ need, sustainability plan, and submission of required documentation
  • Not awarded on a “first-come, first-served” basis

Timeline

  • February 3 & February 4: Informational Webinars (English and Spanish)
  • February 8-22: Application Period (online application will open at 12:00 a.m. on February 8 and will close at 11:59 p.m. on February 22; mail-in applications must be post-marked no later than February 22; drop-off applications must be delivered to the MCWDB by 5:00 p.m. on February 22)
  • Starting March 15: Award Notifications (depending on the volume of applications received, applicants may not receive notification until the end of March)
  • March 19: Deadline for awardees to submit signed Agreements (may be emailed to mcsbg@co.monterey.ca.us, dropped off at the MCWDB office, or mailed and postmarked no later than March 19)
  • Starting March 22: Award Payments (depending on the volume of applications and the quality and forms of payment documentation received, awardees may not receive payment of grant funding until April)

Eligible Businesses

1. Eligible businesses:

  • Have 5-25 full-time equivalent employees
  • Are owned and operated by a business headquartered in Monterey County
  • Were in operation prior to October 1, 2020
  • Demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis
  • Have a sustainability plan and are able to demonstrate how the grant funds would be used to keep their business open and their workers employed
  • May be temporarily closed due to the shelter-in-place order but not permanently closed

2. Businesses that are NOT eligible:

  • Previously received a Monterey County CARES SBRP grant (it’s okay if they received other types of financial assistance before)
  • Located outside of Monterey County or owned/operated by a business located outside of Monterey County
  • Not in good standing with Monterey County or the city in which they are located, including health and safety violations
  • Permanently closed
  • Self-employed individuals or sole proprietorships (with fewer than 5 FTE employees)
  • Non-profit organizations

Priority Businesses

Priority will be given to businesses that:

  1. Are in the Hospitality and Tourism industry sectors, which include Accommodations and Food Services (for example, restaurants, bars, wine tasting rooms, hotels/motels/lodges/inns, etc.)
  2. Are located in an unincorporated area of Monterey County
  3. Have not received any type of COVID-19-related financial assistance (e.g., State, County, or City grants, PPP loans, etc.) previously

Eligible Expenses

1. Eligible expenses:

  1. Payroll
  2. Rent/lease for business location (no mortgage)
  3. Utilities for business location (basic utilities only, i.e. gas/electric, water, garbage)
  4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  5. Equipment or supplies that will help the business adapt to current conditions and save, sustain, reinvent, and even grow the business (a description and explanation must be provided in the Application)
  6. Must have been paid between July 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021

2. Expenses that are NOT eligible:

  • Phone and internet
  • Regular inventory (non-PPE supplies, merchandise, etc.)
  • Rent or mortgage for a residential location (even if the business is operated out of the owner’s home)
  • Paid before July 1, 2020 or after February 7, 2021

Required Documentation

All of the following documentation must be either uploaded with the online Application or submitted with the paper Application in order for an Application to be considered complete.

  • Business License (if located in an incorporated area of the county)
    • In addition to uploading a copy of the business license, the applicant must also provide the Business License number and issuing city in the Application.
    • Businesses that are located in an unincorporated area of the county and thus are not required to have a business license must instead submit the cover page of their 2019 Federal Tax Return showing the business name, address, and Employer Identification Number.
  • Payroll Record providing proof of the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (must be at least as recent as November 2020)
  • W-9 (downloadable IRS form provided on the SBRP webpage and at the beginning of the online Application, and may also be found on the IRS website)
  • Vendor Data Record (downloadable form provided on the SBRP webpage and at the beginning of the online Application)
  • Expense Reimbursement Documentation

If you are awarded a grant, payment will be made to you through a reimbursement process for previously paid expenses. The following documentation must be provided with the Application:

  1. Invoice listing expenses for which you are requesting reimbursement (use the template provided; more than one may be used if more lines are needed);
  2. Proof of Payment for expenses for which you are requesting reimbursement (see guidance below for a list of acceptable types of proof of payment);
  3. If submitting rent/lease expenses for reimbursement, a copy of your lease agreement with your landlord must also be submitted.

Proof of Payment

All payments of grant funding are made on a reimbursement basis. No awardee will receive payment of grant funding unless an Invoice and Proof of Payment for eligible expenses are submitted. The Invoice template is provided. All invoices must be accompanied by adequate proof of payment of expenses or purchases, and the receipts and other proof of payment must clearly align with the expenses listed on the invoice. All documents must be clear and legible.

The following are acceptable forms of proof of payment for eligible expenses:

  1. Payroll reimbursement
    • Submit a detailed payroll report showing the names, dates, and amounts of payroll payments made to employees. The report may be weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, as long as adequate detail is shown.
    • If a formal report from a payroll software is not available, a list of employees with the amounts and dates of payments must be provided along with a bank statement showing proof of payment. The listed payments must be clearly noted/marked/highlighted on the bank statement.
    • Payroll expenses between July 2020 and February 2021 will be accepted.
  2. Rent reimbursement
    • A statement or receipts from landlord showing proof of payment.
    • A bank statement showing proof of payment, with payments and recipient clearly noted/marked/highlighted.
    • A copy of the rental/lease agreement must also be submitted along with proof of payment.
    • Rent must be for a business location, not a residential location.
    • Rent payments made July 2020 and February 2021 will be accepted.
  3. Utility reimbursement
    • Statements from utility companies (e.g. PG&E) or landlord/property management company showing payments you have made.
    • Utility bills are NOT adequate unless they also include a statement showing proof of prior payments.
    • Utility payments made between July 2020 and February 2021 will be accepted.
  4. PPE reimbursement
    • Itemized receipts showing purchases of Personal Protective Equipment, including masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, plastic/acrylic dividers, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, etc.
    • Purchases must have been made between July 1, 2020 and February 7, 2021.
  5. Reimbursement of other purchases
    • Itemized receipts of equipment or supplies that are expected to help the business adapt to current conditions and save, sustain, reinvent, and even grow the business. This may include equipment needed to change how you do business, like changing from indoor to outdoor dining or switching from in-person to virtual/online services.
    • An explanation of how these items have helped or are expected to help your business must be provided in the Application.

Application Instructions & Tips

Important Reminders:

  1. You may submit only one Application.
  2. Applicants with multiple businesses may only apply for one grant. If you apply for multiple grants, only one will be reviewed.
  3. Businesses that received a Monterey County CARES SBRP grant in fall 2020 are not eligible to receive funding in this second round.
  4. You will have 60 minutes to complete the Application before the system times out. If you exit the Application before completing it, your information will NOT be saved and you will have to start over at the beginning.
  5. Contact the MCWDB by email at mcsbg@co.monterey.ca.us if you have questions or require assistance. Due to the high volume of applications, assistance will only be provided by email. Answers to frequently asked questions will also be posted in the FAQs section of the SBRP webpage (https://www.montereycountywdb.org/monterey-county-cares/), which will be updated daily.

Application Preparation and Tips:

  1. Review the program information and eligibility requirements carefully before beginning the online Application. It is also recommended that you attend or view the recording of one of the Informational Webinars. Go to https://www.montereycountywdb.org/monterey-county-cares/ to find the program guidelines and webinar information.
  2. If you prefer to submit an Application in person or by mail, rather than online, you may download and print the blank documents on the webpage or pick them up at the MCWDB office. This includes the Application, VDR, W-9, and Invoice.
  3. Prepare and upload all required documentation before beginning the online application:
  • Business License (if located in an incorporated area of the county)
    • In addition to uploading a copy of the business license, the applicant must also provide the Business License number and issuing city in the Application.
    • Businesses that are located in an unincorporated area of the county and thus are not required to have a business license must instead submit the cover page of their 2019 Federal Tax Return showing the business name, address, and Employer Identification Number.
  • Payroll Record providing proof of the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (must be at least as recent as November 2020)
  • W-9 (downloadable IRS form provided on the SBRP webpage and at the beginning of the online Application, and may also be found on the IRS website)
  • Vendor Data Record (downloadable form provided on the SBRP webpage and at the beginning of the online Application)
  • Expense Reimbursement Documentation

If you are awarded a grant, payment will be made to you through a reimbursement process for previously paid expenses. The following documentation must be provided with the Application:

  1. Invoice listing expenses for which you are requesting reimbursement (use the template provided; more than one may be used if more lines are needed);
  2. Proof of Payment for expenses for which you are requesting reimbursement (see guidance below for a list of acceptable types of proof of payment);
  3. If submitting rent/lease expenses for reimbursement, a copy of your lease agreement with your landlord must also be submitted.
  4. Make sure all uploaded documents are clear and legible. If they are not legible, review of your application and/or processing of your payment may be delayed.
  5. Documents must be in PDF or JPEG format.
  6. You may download a copy of the printable version of the application if you would like to review it before starting your online application.
  7. All fields of the online application must be completed in order for you to be able to submit the application.
  8. Make sure all of the information you submit is accurate, particularly the email address of the primary contact listed in the Application, as all communication with your business will be conducted by email to the primary contact’s email address.
  9. Remember to click the SUBMIT button once you have completed the application and uploaded all required documents.

Application Submission:

  • Applications may be submitted between Monday, February 8 and Monday, February 22, 2021.
  • You may submit your application one of three ways:
  1. Online at https://www.montereycountywdb.org/monterey-county-cares/ (preferred)
    • Online applications may be submitted between 12:01 a.m. on Monday, February 8 and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 22
  2. In person at the MCWDB office at 344 Salinas Street, Suite 101, Salinas, CA 93901
    • Office is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • The deadline for dropping off applications in person is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 22
  3. By mail to the Monterey County Workforce Development Board, 344 Salinas Street, Suite 101, Salinas, CA 93901 (not recommended due to delays in the postal system)
    • Applications sent by mail must be postmarked no later than February 22
    • Notify the MCWDB at mcsbg@co.monterey.ca.us if you require assistance or accommodations for completing and submitting your application.

    Review, Approval, and Award Information

    Coming soon.

    Award Notification and Payment Information

    • If your application is approved and you are selected to be a Monterey County CARES SBRP grant recipient, you will be notified of your award via email from mcsbg@co.monterey.ca.us. The notification email will contain two (2) documents: An Award letter and an Agreement. You must sign, scan, and email the completed agreement back to the MCWDB at mcsbg@co.monterey.ca.us in order to receive your payment.
    • If you are awarded a grant but the documentation you submitted is unclear or incomplete, you will be notified and asked to resubmit the documents. You will not receive your payment unless all required documentation, including proof of payment and other backup documentation for your expenses, is submitted.
    • If all required documentation, including the signed Agreement, is not submitted by March 19, 2021, your award will be forfeited.
    • In the application you will be asked how you would like to receive payment, in the case that your application is approved, and you are selected as a grant recipient. If you need to change your check delivery method or address, you must let the MCWDB know when you submit your signed agreement. There are two options from which you may choose:
    1. Mail – The check will be mailed to the address listed on the Vendor Data Agreement you submit with your application.
    2. Pickup – You may pick up your check at the Monterey County Workforce Development Board office at 344 Salinas Street, Suite 101, Salinas, CA 93901.
    • You will be notified by email when your check has been mailed to you or is ready for pick-up at the MCWDB office. If you do not receive your check within two weeks of this notification, please notify the MCWDB immediately at mcsbg@co.monterey.ca.us.
Register for the Monterey County CARES webinar - English

Registration information coming soon

Register for the Monterey County CARES webinar - Spanish

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