At the end of last month, on January 31, the Milpitas Small Business Assistance Grant Program was launched by the City of Milpitas. Its purpose: to support city businesses hit hard by COVID-19.
The money for the grant program — $1,500,000 in total — comes from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). More than 280 small businesses in Milpitas will receive grants amounting to $5,000 and/or free technical assistance. Applicants can apply till March 1, 2022. The following requirements must be met, and those businesses meeting them will be entered into a fair and transparent lottery:
- Employ between 1-25 employees;
- Operate out of a physical commercial storefront within the city limits of Milpitas. Daycare centers located in physical commercial and/or home-based locations are eligible for grants;
- Have active and current City of Milpitas business licenses; and
- Demonstrate good standing with the City of Milpitas (i.e., no code enforcement issues) and California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
The grant money must be put toward specific purposes, such as payroll, making business rent or mortgage payments, or meeting operating expenses.
Read a City press release announcing the program, “The Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce will provide free technical assistance for applicants desiring alternative financing, marketing, developing business plans, guidance on employee-related issues, and overall business management. The Milpitas Chamber of Commerce will assist with marketing and outreach efforts for the program.”
Said Milpitas Director of Economic Development Alex Andrade in the statement, “Nearly two years into the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to instill uncertainty into our lives and has fundamentally reshaped the economy…Small businesses are still struggling to make ends meet, but the Milpitas Small Business Assistance Grant Program can provide much needed financial assistance to help local businesses recover and build resilience during these historic times.”
Daycare centers and businesses relating to fitness, recreation, and yoga are to receive priority consideration, along with applicants to the 2020 Milpitas Microenterprise Grant Programs that did not end up receiving grant support at that time. If such businesses meet all the eligibility requirements, they may be able to receive grants without being entered into the lottery.
Applications can be submitted through the City’s online portal.