The City of Concord released the results of the Small Business Grant Program which will provide $5,000 grants through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for local small businesses that have experienced financial hardship as a result of the global pandemic. The grant program, which closed on August 21, received 289 applications and awarded 130 grants. Of those, 32 were deemed priority businesses and automatically accepted, with the remaining 98 grants awarded by lottery.
The Concord City Council approved the allocation of $1.6 million of the CARES Act to fund four programs: the Small Business Grant Program administered by the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce; Rental Relief Program administered by Shelter Inc.; Distance learning support for Mt. Diablo Unified School District, and COVID-19 response and reimbursement, including sheltering people experiencing homelessness in hotels and support for food deliveries.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy and an integral part of our community’s success,” said Mayor Tim McGallian. “The Small Business Grant program will provide much needed support and financial relief to many local business owners. However, as the global pandemic continues so will the challenges faced by our small business owners, which is why I will continue to advocate for additional federal assistance and resources needed to help keep their doors open and ensure the safety of their employees and customers.”
Of the 130 grant recipients, 79 are minority-owned businesses and 70 are women-owned businesses. Recipients are required to use the funds for operating expenses, personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety equipment or proper equipment needed for outdoor operations and to help meet social distancing requirements. Among the grantees, 115 will use the funds for rent, 51 for utilities, 91 for payroll, 23 for PPE/cleaning supplies, 15 for outdoor equipment/business modifications due to COVID-19, and 12 for other business expenses.
“We are really lucky to receive a grant which comes during this worrisome time. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the City of Concord and Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce for the arrangement of the Grant Program,” said Cuu and Aly Quach, owners of Monument Hair. “Our business has been down 30-40 percent due to various government requirements, lower customer traffic and rising expenses including rent and maintenance costs. We plan to use the grant to pay our rent, which is our largest expense right now.”
“We are greatly appreciative to the City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce for their support and their help throughout this process,” said Steffani & Daniel Tomizaki, owners of Tomizaki’s Champions Kung Fu, which teaches practical applications, traditional Chinese Martial Arts and effective self-defense techniques. “Our gross revenue is down over 50 percent since COVID-19 hit, so we will use the grant money to conduct outdoor classes, which will ensure the safety of our students. In addition, this grant will assist in covering our rent. For our business to survive this pandemic, we have had to completely restructure the framework of our business, utilizing the Zoom video conferencing platform and investing over $1,000 in PPE. Our motto has been ‘safety first’ for everything we do and all the decisions we make.”
To stay up to date on all the latest news and resources available, visit Concord Forward COVID-19 Business Resources and follow the City of Concord on LinkedIn, Facebook and @CA_Concord on Twitter.