Emergency Business Assistance Program Grant Guidelines

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Businesses must review the following Grant Guidelines to determine eligibility. If you determine that your business may be eligible for Microbusiness Assistance or Small Business Assistance, please complete the Grant Eligibility Checklist to proceed with the application process.

 

Emergency Business Assistance Grant Program Workshop

Staff from the County of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Foundation hosted a workshop on May 19 to discuss the Emergency Business Assistance Program with interested businesses. Click here to view the a recording of the Workshop and learn more about the program.

 

Introduction and Program Overview

The County of Santa Barbara, as an entitlement Grantee under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, receives an annual allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement CDBG-eligible programs. In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), additional CDBG funds were allocated to the County under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136. These funds are referred to as CDBG-Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds that are to be used specifically for the prevention of, preparation for, and response to COVID-19.

The County will be utilizing a portion of their CDBG-CV funds to implement a COVID-19 Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP) that provides grant assistance to micro- and small-businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The EBAP funds will provide support to eligible businesses for payroll, rent, personal protective equipment, and other costs required to resume or expand business operations. The program will benefit low- and moderate-income.

The Emergency Business Assistance program will consist of two different components: Microenterprise business Assistance (MEB) and Small Business Assistance. In accordance with HUD requirements, Emergency Business Assistance program funding will only be provided in cases where it can be reasonably determined and documented that the applicant business has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All grant payments will be made on a reimbursable basis for actual costs incurred by grant recipients under this program. The business will be required to submit appropriate documentation to confirm eligibility for the relevant program and receive grant payments accordingly. Separate applications will be provided for microenterprise businesses and small businesses.

 

Program Definitions
  • Eligible Costs: Eligible costs include costs incurred for general operating expenses and include, but are not limited to, rent, utilities (excluding water and sewage), payroll, personal protective equipment (PPE) required for business operation, business services to increase or alter business activities (e.g. point of sale system, website development, outdoor business activities, etc.), or other costs determined to be eligible and necessary to resume or alter business operations. Note that federal funds cannot be used to purchase alcohol.
  • Family: The term “families” refers to individuals or households, with or without children. As defined at 24 CFR 5.403, “family” includes, but is not limited to, the following, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status: 1) A single person, who may be an elderly person, displaced person, disabled person, near-elderly person, or any other single person; or 2) A group of persons residing together, and such group includes, but is not limited to a family with or without children (a child who is temporarily away from the home because of placement in foster care is considered a member of the family); an elderly family; a near-elderly family; a disabled family; a displaced family; and the remaining member of a tenant family.
  • Full-Time Equivalent: Full-Time Equivalent or FTE is used to measure the number of permanent jobs created or retained as part of the Small Business Assistance Program. An FTE assumes that a full-time job is 40 hours/ week. Thus, a part-time job at 20 hours/ week would be considered 0.5 FTE. Each small business assisted must create or retain at least 1.0 permanent FTE. This can be comprised of a single full-time job or multiple part-time jobs.
  • Microenterprise Business: A business with 5 or fewer total employees (including the owner/s) where the owner(s) qualify as each having a family income that is at or below 80% of the area median income and meets all eligibility criteria of a microenterprise as detailed in Section 1.
  • Small Business: A business that has at least 6 but fewer than 50 total employees (including the owner/s) and meets all eligibility criteria of a small business as detailed in Section 2.

Program Marketing

Program marketing is initiated by the Santa Barbara Foundation and Housing and Community Development Department and will include a range of activities. Marketing and outreach shall facilitate fair access and transparency. The program shall not rely solely on web-based marketing and outreach.

To facilitate meaningful access to program participation for Limited English Proficiency persons, program activities will be conducted in accordance with the County’s current Limited English Proficiency Plan. Outreach will be comprehensive with targeted communication to minority-held businesses and those in minority or underserved/underinvested neighborhoods.

Program Application

The Santa Barbara Foundation and County HCD shall implement the program and make application forms available to businesses from as early as April 6, 2021 but no later than June 6. Funding is limited, and applications will be reviewed and processed as received in a completed form, and processed on a first-come, first-served basis, except that, it is the County’s desire to ensure assistance is provided in a cross-geographic manner. Santa Barbara Foundation will track assistance provided per Supervisorial District or other geographic locations, as approved by the County.

The EBAP program may allocate funds throughout the county and to ensure equitable distribution of funding between microenterprise and small business applications as delineated in Exhibit B Budget.

Complete applications may be submitted to the Santa Barbara Foundation via online portal or via mail to (or as otherwise directed by Santa Barbara Foundation to ensure both electronic and non-electronic means and to ensure reasonable accommodations):

The Santa Barbara Foundation
RE: Emergency Business Assistance Program
1111 Chapala Street, No. 200
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Submission of an application does not guarantee a grant award. As noted, Applications will be reviewed for completeness before accepted, and compliance with program requirements.

 

Program Description

Section 1: Microenterprise Assistance

The Emergency Business Assistance program will provide grants up to $10,000 to Microenterprises that were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microenterprise grants can be used for operating expenses, including for the following purposes:

  • Rent/utilities
  • Payroll
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies required for business operation (The County will not provide reimbursement for any installation-related costs.)
  • Business services to increase or alter business activities (e.g. Point of Sale system, website development, outdoor business activities etc.)

Microenterprise businesses do not need to provide ongoing documentation and reporting of jobs created and/ or retained as a result of the CDBG assistance.

Eligible Microenterprise Businesses (MEB)

To qualify as an eligible microenterprise business, the business must meet the following criteria:

  • Five (5) or fewer total employees (including owner). Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Sole proprietors, especially involved in event planning, catering, tourism
    • Small retailer
    • Food/flower retail industry
    • Hospitality
  • Business owner’s family income is less than 80% area median income (see annual income documentation guidance on page 5)
  • Business is located within Santa Barbara County, including incorporated cities and unincorporated areas, and operated from a physical location.
  • Owner is 18 years or older
  • Business or owner has a DUNS number, or will have applied for one at the time of application (https://fedgov.dnb.com)
  • Business has a valid Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), also known as Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) for sole proprietors
  • No person who is subject to the provisions of this program’s Conflict of Interest Code has any ownership interest in the business, or would otherwise receive a financial benefit from the business
  • At time of application, business must be in good-standing with the County and/or incorporated cities of Santa Barbara County, have a valid business license (if required to operate within that city or area of unincorporated county), have no pending health or code enforcement matters proceeding and not be delinquent in the payment of any business license fees or taxes owed the County or participating cities. Confirmation of Good Standing with the State may be obtained in-lieu of a local judication’s status, if the local jurisdiction does not provide such.
  • Business was adversely impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and can provide supporting documentation illustrating the impact
  • Certification that the business has neither received nor will seek other grants, loans, or other assistance from any private, local, state, or federal funding source for the same use as identified in the program application
  • Business must be viable as determined by the review criteria included herein
  • Business was in operation in Santa Barbara County prior to January 1, 2019

Ineligible Microenterprise Businesses

The following business types are not eligible for assistance:

  • The business is not seasonal or temporary in nature
  • Businesses located outside of Santa Barbara County.
  • Nonprofit entities
  • Passive businesses (i.e. rental property or other business in which one does not actively participate)
  • Government organizations
  • Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity, except those businesses that are restricted by law as to the patronage they may serve (for example independent tasting room and wineries)
  • Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law
  • Businesses of a prurient sexual nature, including businesses which present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature
  • Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses
  • Gaming, tobacco, and marijuana dispensary businesses
  • Manufacturing businesses
  • Businesses with more than 5 employees (including owner)

Assistance cannot be used to relocate a plant, facility, or other business operation.

  • ACTION: If you have determined that your business may be eligible for Microbusiness Assistance, please complete the Grant Eligibility Checklist to proceed with the application process.

Microenterprise Application Process

Applicants will be required to complete an initial application, including copies of the following documents.

  1. Business License if required by the local jurisdiction in which the business is located (City or County).
  2. State Identification Card or Driver’s License
  3. IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification)
  4. Owner income documentation
  5. Most recent federal income tax return for Business owner
  6. Most recent California Employment Development Department form DE-9 and 9C (Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages Form)
  7. Documentation that the business was adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (this may include showing loss in revenue/ profit or other documentation) to the satisfaction of the County

The Santa Barbara Foundation and Santa Barbara County HCD reserves the right to request additional information upon receiving the application to determine program compliance.

Annual Income Definition and Documentation

The owner(s) of a MEB must be low-income, meaning that each owner’s family has income at or below eighty-percent (80%) of the area median income as published by HUD annually for the Santa Barbara/Santa Maria Metropolitan Statistical Area. To determine business owner family’s income for all microenterprises, the Santa Barbara Foundation and County HCD will follow the annual income determination method as defined by HUD at 24 CFR 5.609 – 612 (commonly referred to as Part 5). Household annual income will be calculated by determining the income of each family member, aged 18 years and older and projecting the household income for the next 12-month period as measured from the date that it performs the income determination.

Each applicant will need to provide verifiable documentation to support the applicant’s stated income. HUD establishes annual incomes. County HCD will update the program guidelines as income limits are updated. The current income limits for this program are:

As defined at 24 CFR 5.403, “family” includes, but is not limited to, the following, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status: 1) A single person, who may be an elderly person, displaced person, disabled person, near-elderly person, or any other single person; or 2) A group of persons residing together, and such group includes, but is not limited to a family with or without children (a child who is temporarily away from the home because of placement in foster care is considered a member of the family); an elderly family; a near-elderly family; a disabled family; a displaced family; and the remaining member of a tenant family.

Therefore, family member information must include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Full names and ages of all family members living in the residence; and
  2. Signature of all adult family members age 18 or over, certifying that the information provided related to the annual family income and family composition is correct.

Section 2: Small Business Assistance

The Emergency Business Assistance program will provide grants up to $25,000 to small businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small Business Assistance grants can be used for the following purposes:

  • Rent/utilities
  • Payroll
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies required for business operation (The County will not provide reimbursement for any installation-related costs.)
  • Business services to increase or alter business activities (e.g. Point of Sale system, website development, outdoor business activities etc.)

Businesses receiving a Small Business Assistance grant shall use grant funds to create or retain jobs (those held by low/moderate-income individuals) and shall provide reporting for up to six (6) months following grant award on the creation or retention of jobs. Determination of a job being held by or offered to a low-income person is measured by the salary of the employee compared to the HUD income limits for a one-person family, regardless of the family size. This may be documented by an employment offer letter or payroll records. Businesses that do not create or retain at least one permanent low- or moderate-income job(s) will be required to repay the grant in accordance with the grant agreement.

The job creation and retention requirement is described in more detail in the Job Creation/ Retention section.

Eligible Small Businesses

To qualify as an eligible small business, the business must meet the following criteria:\

  • Must have between 6- 50 employees
  • Commitment to create or retain at least one full time equivalent (FTE) permanent job as a result of the Emergency Business Assistance program; 51% of all jobs created or retained must be held or made available to low- or moderate-income individuals
  • Operate from a physical location within the limits of Santa Barbara County
  • Owner is 18 years or older
  • Business or owner has a DUNS number, or will have applied for one at the time of application (https://fedgov.dnb.com)
  • Business has a valid Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), also known as Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • No person who is subject to the provisions of this program’s Conflict of Interest Code, including the staff and board of , has any ownership interest in the business, or would otherwise receive a financial benefit from the business.
  • • At time of application, business must be in good-standing with the County or incorporated cities of Santa Barbara County, have a valid business license, if required by the local jurisdiction in which the business is located (City or County), have no pending health or code enforcement matters proceeding and not be delinquent in the payment of any business license fees or taxes owed the County or participating cities. Confirmation of Good Standing with the State may be obtained in-lieu of a local jurisdiction’s status, if the local jurisdiction does not provide such.
  • Business was adversely impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and
    can provide supporting documentation illustrating the impact and economic hardship suffered such as tax returns, financial statements, and other financial data required in the application.
  • Business must provide certification that the business has neither received nor will seek other grants, loans, or other assistance from any private, local, state, or federal funding source for the same use as identified in the program application
  • Business had no more than $5 million in gross total sales between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.
  • Business was in operation in Santa Barbara County prior to January 1, 2019
  • Business must show best effort to reopen and resume business operations

Ineligible Small Businesses

  • The following business types are not eligible for assistance:
  • Businesses that qualify as a microenterprise
  • Businesses located outside of Santa Barbara County.
  • Nonprofit entities
  • Passive businesses (i.e. rental property or other business in which one does not actively participate)
  • Government organizations
  • Businesses that restrict patronage for any reason other than capacity, except those businesses that are restricted by law as to the patronage they may serve (for example independent tasting room and wineries).
  • Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under federal, state or local law
  • Businesses of a prurient sexual nature, including businesses which present live performances of a prurient sexual nature and businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature
  • Businesses engaged in any socially undesirable activity or activity that may be considered predatory in nature such as rent-to-own businesses and check cashing businesses
  • Gaming, tobacco, and marijuana dispensary businesses
  • Manufacturing businesses
  • Businesses with more than 50 employees

Assistance cannot be used to relocate a plant, facility, or other business.

  • ACTION: If you have determined that your business may be eligible for Small Business Assistance, please complete the Grant Eligibility Checklist to proceed with the application process.

Small Business Application Process

Applicants will be required to complete an initial application, including copies of the following documents.

  1. Business License, if required by the jurisdiction in which the business is located
  2. State Identification Card or Driver’s License
  3. IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification)
  4. Most recent California Employment Development Department form DE-9 and 9C  (Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages Form)
  5. Documentation that the business was adversely impacted by the COVID-19  pandemic (this may include showing loss in revenue/ profit or other  documentation) to the satisfaction of the County
  6. Business documentation, including:
    1. Balance Sheet (or any documentation showing net assets and liabilities of the  business) for two separate periods
    2. Income Statements or Profit and Loss Statements showing net profits for two  separate periods
  7. Determination of pre-Pandemic Business Viability (See program Underwriting Guidelines- see below)

The Santa Barbara Foundation and County HCD reserve the right to request additional information upon receiving the application to determine program compliance.

Review/Underwriting criteria are included herein

Small Business Job Retention and Job Creation 

The goal of the Small Business Assistance component is to assist business owners in operations during the global pandemic, as well as to create economic opportunities by creating and/or retaining permanent jobs held by low/moderate-income individuals within the unincorporated County or incorporated cities of Santa Barbara County. Job creation or retention is defined as total full-time equivalent positions created or retained at  40 hours per week, or any combination of part-time positions combining for 40 hours per week. Determination of a job being held by or offered to a low-income person is measured by the salary of the employee compared to the HUD income limits for a one-person family,  regardless of the family size. This may be documented by an employment offer letter or payroll records. During the grant agreement period, businesses will be required to report on all jobs created or retained as a result of the CDBG funds.

In order to meet this requirement, businesses must be able to demonstrate that the created or retained job has an annualized salary of $66,750 or below ($70,050 effective June 1, 2021).

Job Retention and Creation Documentation 

The business must provide the following information for each job created or retained.  • Listing by job title of the job created/ retained

  • Brief description of job created/ retained
  • Annual wages/ salary of job created/ retained
  • EDD DE-9 and 9C (Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages Form) and  DE 34 (Report of New Employee(s) Form) Forms
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Employment offer letter or payroll records

For businesses that are retaining jobs, they must provide specific evidence that the job(s)  would be lost but for and without the assistance. 

Reporting and Recordkeeping 

Businesses assisted through the Emergency Business Assistance program must provide  ongoing reporting for a period up to six (6) months. Reporting will document program  compliance and job creation/ retention (if applicable) as follows:

All Business Assisted 

  • Program expense documentation

Small Business Assistance Program Component Only 

  • Job creation/ retention form and supporting documentation for the period specified  in the grant agreement.
  • EDD DE-9 and 9C (Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages Form) and  DE 34 (Report of New Employee(s) Form) Forms

Business Assistance Program Management 

The Housing and Community Development Department and shall meet weekly to review the status of the program, including the number of applications, received, number processed, and number paid by geographic area, and other information as may be requested by County, and to review any applications that may require County review and determination for program or regulatory compliance.

Santa Barbara Foundation: 

  • Review and either approve or deny applications for assistance in accordance with  the County Subrecipient Agreement
  • Collect repayment from previously approved assistance for program participants  who violate program requirements in consultation with County
  • Provide recommendations for policy improvements or clarifications • Appoint a member whose responsibility it is to maintain records of all necessary  documents for each business applicant

If an application is deemed incomplete or requires additional detail, applicants will be notified via email, postal mail, or phone call and be provided two weeks to submit all additional information required. The application will not be considered received until it is  deemed complete by Santa Barbara Foundation

If the Santa Barbara Foundation denies an application, it shall prepare and send a letter to the applicant indicating the reason(s) for denial and shall include notification of the applicant’s right to appeal the decision in accordance with the Appeals section of these  Guidelines.

Upon approval of a program application, eligible businesses selected for the Emergency  Business Assistance program will execute a grant agreement with the Santa Barbara  Foundation.

Grant awards will be made on a cost-reimbursement basis. Assisted businesses will be expected to submit all reimbursement documentation within three (3) months of the date the grant agreement is executed. Recipients are not required to submit all reimbursement requests at a single time and can submit up to three (3) requests during the three-month period.

Reimbursement requests must be submitted in the manner prescribed in the grant agreement and include supporting receipts and other documentation.

The program will reimburse eligible costs incurred from April 6, 2021. All reimbursement requests must include receipts and, for payroll, timesheets, and payroll records and required supporting documentation.

Other Program Requirements 

Appeals 

A denied applicant file shall contain all submitted information and documentation, as well as the reason for denial (ex: incomplete information, business outside service area). A  denial may be appealed by filing a written notice of appeal and any information the applicant deems relevant to the appeal with the Deputy Director of the Housing and  Community Development within 5 days of receiving notice of denial. The Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development, or designee, shall review the information and make a written determination within 10 days of receipt of the notice of appeal and associated documents.

Duplication of Benefits 

All applicants shall certify on the Program Application under penalty of perjury, that they are not able to receive, and have not received, other federal or non-federal benefits or assistance for business assistance for the same use and same period of assistance as the  Program assistance. Applicants shall further certify that they will not pursue other federal or non-federal benefits for the same uses of this grant program for the period of assistance under the Program. As part of the grant agreement, all applicants shall certify under penalty of perjury to this effect.

False Claims 

Applicants shall certify on the Program Application under penalty of perjury that “The  information provided on this form is true to the best of their knowledge and is subject to  verification by HUD, Santa Barbara Foundation, or County at any time, and Title 18, Section 

1001 of the U.S. Code states that a person is guilty of a felony and assistance can be  terminated for knowingly and willingly making a false or fraudulent statement to a  department of the United States Government.” 

Applicant Confidentiality 

Employees and agents of the County and Santa Barbara Foundation will not disclose any applicant’s personal confidential information as part of the program, except as required by law. All confidential information of applicants will be kept in a locked secured storage facility or password-protected electronic files and unavailable to persons outside of the program. At all times, the County and Santa Barbara Foundation will abide by all requirements stated within the Privacy Act of 1974 as amended. Subject to the Freedom of  Information Act with regard to public records, if the County receives a request for public records related to the program, only non-confidential information, as verified by the  County, will be provided. Program records are held by Santa Barbara County or its selected  Santa Barbara Foundation.

Nondiscrimination 

The Emergency Business Assistance program shall be implemented consistent with the  County’s commitment to State and Federal equal opportunity laws. No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with CDBG program funds on the basis of their disability, family status, national origin, race, color, religion, sex, marital status, medical condition, ancestry, source of income, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or other arbitrary discrimination.

Santa Barbara Foundation will provide reasonable accommodations and/or modifications,  or provide language assistance to individuals requesting such assistance to benefit from the services provided by the Emergency Business Assistance program.

Conflict of Interest 

In accordance with 24 CFR 570.611 and Section IX.D.4 of the Agreement, no member of the governing body and no official, employee or agent of the County or Santa Barbara  Foundation, nor any other person, either for themselves or those with whom they have business or immediate family ties, who exercises policy or decision making responsibilities will financially benefit from this program.

Program Guidelines Changes or Modifications 

These Guidelines may be amended from time-to-time by County as necessary to comply with federal regulations and advisories issued by HUD or other federal agencies, to comply with direction provided by the County’s Executive Office, or to better align the program to community needs and priorities.

ONLINE Application Process

Santa Barbara Foundation utilizes an online application. Please follow the instructions below to access, complete and submit your application to the Foundation.

  • To begin the process of applying online, please complete the Grant Eligibility Checklist.
  • If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Grant Coordinator, Andi Garcia, at 805-880-9352 or AGarcia@SBFoundation.org.