State COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programs

In response to the increasing dangers of the coronavirus emergency, the California state government implemented a series of programs to support small businesses through this difficult time.

Free Technical Assistance Through Local and Regional Small Business Centers

California has a robust set of small business technical assistance and financial assistance centers.  

At these centers, small businesses can access free and low cost business counseling and workshops to address their specific needs.  The network of over 90 centers, means small businesses throughout the state can access help from business professions who understand local market conditions.  One-on-one business counseling and workshops available in over 17 languages.

Get connected to a center near youSmall Business Centers | California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) 

Centers Serving California Small Businesses:  Small Business Development Centers, Wmen's Business Developemnt Centers, Minority Business Development Adminsitration Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, Small Business Financial Development Centers, and Veteran Business Outreach Centers.

Sales and Use Tax Deferrals

Effective December 15, 2020, small business taxpayers with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales, can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability only.  All payment plans must be paid in full by April 30, 2022, to qualify for zero interest.  While the program is now closed, the website includes information relating to repayments.

  • Businesses with $5 million or more in annual taxable sales in sectors particularly impacted by operational restrictions due to the pandemic may also apply for this 12-month interest-free payment plan. 

  • A business that previously took advantage of the 12-month, interest-free payment plan that must be paid in full by July 31, 2021, may also request to participate in this new 12-month interest-free payment plan.    

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

The Legislature approved and the Governor signed the largest grant program in the nation to help small businesses and small nonprofits make ends meet during the pandemic.  With over $4 billion in funding available, the California COVID-19 Relief Grant Program makes awards of $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000 to eligible applicants, based on the size of the business.

  • Grant Portal

  • The program is now closed for new applications.

  • Summary of AwardsPublications   (Please scroll to the "California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.")

California Small Business Relief Loan Guarantee Program​

Businesses who do not qualify for the either the Payment Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program had the option of applying to a state disaster program, the California Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program

While the disster program is now closed, the regular Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is available.  Loan guarantees are offered through a statewide network of seven Small Business Financial Development Corporations who will assist small businesses in applying for a loan of up to $1.5 million.  

California Rebuilding Fund - Direct Loans

The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program funded through the California Small Business Finance Center at the IBank and Community Developemnt Financial Institutions.

Loans offered through the California Reqbuilding Fund are intended to support California’s small businesses—especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state.  Program FAQs are available.

In order to qualify, a businesses must have 50 or less full-time equivalent employees and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019.  Full eligibility requirements are included in the Business Requirements Tab.

To fill out a pre-application and begin the process of being matched with a participating CDFI, please click here.  Please note that not all businesses can be matched, and acceptance is based on meeting the individual lending requirements of a participating CDFI.  

If approved, the loan will be made through that community lender and you will continue to work with them throughout the life of your loan.

This program is not associated with the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or any other SBA program. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole. The loans will need to be paid back over a 3- or 5-year term with a fixed annual interest rate that is currently 4.25%. Please see the Loan Terms tab for details.

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