At a special meeting on May 29, the Irvine City Council voted to establish a program to provide financial support to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Funding for the Local Business Support Program comes from a $5 million grant from the County of Orange, through the federally approved CARES Act. Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner presented the $5 million check to the Council at Friday’s meeting – only a couple of days after the County approved the funding.
The program will allow Irvine-based businesses that meet the following criteria to apply for one-time grants of $10,000. To qualify, businesses must:
- Have 25 or fewer employees,
- Have an active Irvine business license at the minimum of one year,
- Demonstrate a financial impact due to COVID-19, and
- Have reopened or are ready to reopen, meeting guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the State and Orange County.
An estimated 500 businesses will be able to receive relief funds. Sixty percent ($3 million) of the $5 million City allocation will be directed to businesses that generate taxable retail sales. The other forty percent ($2 million) will be available to other small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
“I frequently hear from businesses in the community that need help today, with payroll, capital expenses, utilities, their leases and mortgages,” Mayor Christina L. Shea said. “I want to thank Supervisor Don Wagner for his efforts to support small businesses in Irvine. This funding will help keep our small businesses solvent and a part of our community. Our plan is to keep this program as streamlined as possible to ensure we have the ability to quickly infuse these dollars into our local economy.”
Applications will be accepted for 30 days beginning next week, with grant funding awarded quickly on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds could be used to meet eligible businesses’ working capital needs such as payroll or operating expenses. Businesses will be asked to provide a budget reflecting the proposed use of grant funds, and will be required to submit a post-expense report detailing how the funding was actually utilized.
Additional information and a grant application will be available at cityofirvine.org next week.