COVID-19 Assistance Extended for California Small Business, Not-for-Profits

This article was updated January 8, 2021.

The deadline for first-round applications for additional immediate assistance for California small businesses, including not-for-profits, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is now extended to January 13, 2021.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced this assistance on November, 30, 2020. Following this, Newsom also proposed a comprehensive $4.5 billion funding package—which includes an additional $575 million on top of the $500 million previously allocated to the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant—on January 5, 2021.

These funds and tax relief measures build on previous, ongoing efforts to support small businesses during the pandemic.

An overview of the relief effort follows.

Assistance Provisions

The new assistance includes the following:

  • Tax relief
  • $475 million added to the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant program, with an additional $575 million proposed
  • More funding for the California Rebuilding Fund

Tax Relief

Businesses filing less than $1 million in sales tax will receive an automatic 90-day income tax extension.

Penalty- and interest-free payment arrangements will be available to businesses with up to $5 million in taxable sales.

Additionally, larger businesses severely impacted by COVID-19 will have more opportunities to enter interest-free payment arrangements.

COVID-19 Relief Grant

The $475 million grant will be administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) via Lendistry, a technology partner and the intermediary that will host and collect applications as well as distribute grant funds.


Underserved micro- and small businesses—both for-profit and not-for-profit—may apply for grants up to $25,000 to be distributed by early 2021.

Businesses must have a physical address in California. Not-for-profit businesses must be registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(19).

Application Amounts

The amount that businesses can apply for is contingent on the applicant’s gross annual revenue.

Two-Round Process

There will be two rounds of funding available. Each round will disburse $237.5 million in grant money. There are two stages to each round:

  • Stage one. Confirms the applicant meets eligibility requirements.
  • Stage two. Requires the selected applicant to provide additional documentation to certify that the information provided is accurate, including bank account information, for fund disbursement.

Round one began accepting applications on December 30, 2020, and will close on January 13, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PST. This timeline was extended from January 8, 2021.

Applicants will begin receiving approval notifications on January 15, 2021. The timeline for round two applications are forthcoming.

Required Documents

Stage One

  1. Application Certification
  2. Grant application, completed through the online portal
  3. Government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
  4. Business financial information
    • Most recent tax returned filed—2019 or 2018
    • Evidence of minimum gross annual revenue between $1,000 and $2.5 million

Stage Two

  1. Copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality, such as:
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Certificate of Organization
    • Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License
  2. Not-for-profits must provide a copy of their most recent IRS tax exemption letter
  3. Verification of bank account
How to Apply

Eligible applicants will need to apply online through a Lendistry partner. You can select partners based on those available in your county or by language. Any partner you apply through is acceptable.

You must first complete the online application. Once complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email with log-in information to upload the necessary documents.

Additional Information

Below are resources for applicants should they require additional help and guidance:

California Rebuilding Fund

An additional $12.5 million will be added to the California Rebuilding Fund, a loan program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This increases the total available funding to $37.5 million.

For this program, small business is defined as an organization with a gross revenue of less than $2.5 million in 2019 with less than 50 full-time equivalent employees.

We’re Here to Help

To learn how these relief opportunities could help your business or organization, as well as how to address compliance with applicable restrictions or requirements, contact your Moss Adams professional.

Special thanks to Consulting Senior Pat Oungpasuk for her contributions to this article. 

Additional Resources

For regulatory updates, strategies to help cope with subsequent risk, and possible steps to bolster your workforce and organization, please see the following resources: