Help could be on the way for business owners recovering from the pandemic. Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing an additional $1.5 billion in grants, which would offer struggling businesses up to $25,000, if eligible.
According to the Governor’s plan, qualifying businesses must have been operating before June 2019, made between $1,000 and $2.5 million in annual pre-pandemic revenue, and be located in California. Business owners would be required to apply for the grant and would not have to pay the money back.
The additional proposed $1.5 billion would bring the state’s business grant program up to $4 billion, which Gov. Newsom said would make it the largest state program of its kind in the U.S.
One San Diego small business owner told NBC 7 she hopes the proposal is approved.
"I feel this grant would be life-changing to a lot of companies, a lot of business, it would give them life again,” said Lisa McCabe.
McCabe is the owner of Lovely Leaps, a dance company in Escondido. Once the pandemic hit, she was forced to stop in-person classes, her income came to a screeching halt and she said she wasn’t eligible for state funds or grants.
“[I would spend] hours and hours on the phone and finally they’d say you don’t qualify or let me call you back,” McCabe said.
More than a year later, and McCabe is finding herself in another tough situation, trying to balance virtual classes while transitioning back to in-person classes.
“We’re not really making enough for virtual yet and we’re not really making enough from in-person,” said McCabe. “I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that we could benefit from it [the proposed grant].”
Eligible business owners would receive between $5,000 and $25,000 and they will not have to reimburse the state.
If the proposal is approved, the funds would come from the $27 billion COVID-19 relief fund that the state is expecting from the federal government soon.