On February 10th, the City of Martinez launched a COVID-19 Small Business Relief Micro-Grant Program as part of its continuing efforts to support small businesses with 25 employees or less and to help maintain the economic vitality of that storefront small businesses provide for the Martinez community.
Round 1 of the MicroGrant Program application period closed on February 22, 2021, and Round 2 closed on April 26. The City Council allocated $300,000 for the program and a total of 61 eligible businesses with complete applications were approved to each receive a reimbursable grant in varying amounts of up to $5,000.
The MicroGrant program provides that each approved business can be reimbursed in these eligible categories below, including certain expenses already incurred retroactive to the beginning of the pandemic. If awarded, the grant is not required to be paid back by the business, nor does it require a matching contribution.
- Operating Expenses (up to $4,000)
Examples include payroll and rent/lease/mortgage/utility expenses
- 2021 Business License Fee Payment
- City Building Permit Fees Related to COVID-19 Alterations
- Outdoor Furniture and Weather Protection Related to COVID-19 Orders and Mandates
Examples include temporary COVID-19 signs, tents, canopies, space heaters, outdoor chairs/tables, outdoor lighting, takeout/pickup windows.
- COVID-19 Safety and Sanitation Materials/Supplies
Examples include Personal Protective Agreement (PPE), digital technology equipment to assist with touchless sales, plexiglass partitions, air purifiers.
- Businesses can only be approved for one MicroGrant in either Round 1 or Round 2 and are ineligible to receive grants in both rounds.
- Experienced year-over-year loss of at least 15% in sales revenue due to COVID-19 shutdowns and business activity restrictions during the March 16, 2020 – January 31, 2021 time period (as compared to March 16, 2019 – January 31, 2020).
Note: Businesses that began operations before March 16, 2020 but after March 16, 2019 may be eligible for a MicroGrant in Round 2 if they can certify that sales would have been at least 15% more between March 16, 2020 – March 15, 2021if not for the COVID restrictions.
- 25 or fewer employees (excluding independently owned restaurants).
- Must have a physical storefront or personal services commercial space located within the City of Martinez where food, retail goods, and/or services are provided or sold.
- Business must have been in operation as of March 16, 2020 (date of first County Shelter in Place Order).
- Business must currently be open to the public (a closed business may be eligible if the businesses is currently closed due to the current County and/or State Health Order and the businesses demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the City, that it has a clear plan for reopening soon.)
- Independently owned (not an independent contractor).
- Cannot be a publicly traded business, unless franchised.
- Franchise owners (excluding any drive-through and primarily delivery-based fast food franchised establishments) are eligible.
- Businesses may not have more than five locations in the Bay Area (defined as the counties of Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Solano, Sonoma, and Napa).
- Two businesses with the same business owner are both eligible to receive a MicroGrant award. However, if the program is oversubscribed, then all eligible applications from single business owners will be funded first, and then second applications from business owners with two businesses will be considered for approval.
- Home-based businesses and non-profits are ineligible under this program.
- Good standing with the City of Martinez and Contra Costa County.
- No open code enforcement or County Health COVID-19 Health Order violations related to the business.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
The MicroGrant program is now closed after completing Round 1 with a due date of February 22, 2021, and Round 2 with a due date of April 26, 2021.
Does the grant need to be paid back?
If awarded, the grant is not required to be paid back by the business, nor does it require a matching contribution.
What are the eligible and/or ineligible business sectors?
- Stores that provide Retail goods, products, or services
- Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Wine Bars, Coffee shops
- Personal Care Service (i.e., hair, spa, salon, fitness)
- Event Centers
- Services such as legal, financial, medical, real estate are considered professional office (not Personal Care Service) and are ineligible.
- Liquor stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, smoke/tobacco/vaping-related shops, cannabis, and auto-related businesses. Additional business types may be ineligible.
What are the required documentation for reimbursement?
- List of eligible expenses with associated receipts/bills (note that receipts and bills must demonstrate proof of completed payment, not quotes or estimates).
- For eligible rent or mortgage payment reimbursements, proof such as a bank statement, credit card statement, or copy of a cashed check will be required.
- For payroll reimbursements, payroll records such as a copy of IRS Form 941 or 944 will be required.
NOTE: “Double-Dipping” is not allowed. No expenses that have already been funded or are planned to be funded with grant or forgivable loan funds received through another public, private, or non-profit program (including but not limited to the S.B.A. Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Grant, S.B.A. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), State of California COVID-19 Small Business Relief, Facebook, Salesforce, or Red Backpack Fund programs) are eligible for reimbursement under this City program.
What happens after I submit after my application?
Eligible and approved businesses that have submitted all required documentation will be reviewed after the application period closes.
How do I know if I will receive a MicroGrant?
Businesses who meet the criteria will receive an award letter from the City.
Small Business MicroGrant Recipient Lists
Round 1 - MicroGrant Recipients
Round 2 - MicroGrant Recipients