COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Grants

In April 6, 2020
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Many companies and individuals are suffering financial losses due to the pandemic. Federal funds may be unavailable to undocumented persons and businesses, but we have listed a few below that may be of interest:

Relief Funds for Undocumented Workers

California – This is a list of funds that people have created in response to the lack of financial support for undocumented workers, many of whom are on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19, providing healthcare services, and food. This chart was created by Legal Aid At Work. The list will be updated on a weekly basis. If you know of a relief fund that is open to undocumented workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, please email the information to relief@legalaidatwork.org.


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

(These loan opportunities are not available to undocumented persons).

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)The EIDL loan is a newly-streamlined version of the SBA’s former disaster loan. An important feature of the SBA Disaster Loan is that it comes with a $10,000 cash advance grant, which can be sent to your bank account in three days. The loan itself carries a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses, or 2.75% for nonprofits. There are no fees or prepayment penalties, and the amount of the loan can be changed after submitting your application. Impacted businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors can apply online; the estimated time for completing the entire application is two hours and ten minutes, although you may not need to complete all parts.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The PPP offers forgivable loans up to $10 million to keep employees on payroll or quickly rehire employees, as 75% of the PPP loan must be used for payroll. As funds are dispersed directly through banks and credit unions, you should reach out directly to your primary banking institution to ask about the PPP and/or about options for payment relief or interest payment deferral. A sample application form can be found here.

State of California Financial Support for Small Businesses

California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank): California’s I-Bank has a Small Business Loan Guarantee Program designed specifically for Disaster Relief and to help eliminate barriers to capital for individuals who do not qualify for federal funds, including low wealth and undocumented immigrant communities. The loan guarantees are currently up to $1 million and there is also a micro lending program for loans up to $10,000 with accommodations for disasters. The program is run through the Nor-Cal Financial Development Corporation. Contact them directly for assistance: http://nor-calfdc.org/contact/contact_form or 510-698-2080

State of CA Small Business Relief Payment PlanThe State of CA also allows small businesses (those with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales) to defer payment of sales and use taxes through a 12-month, interest-free payment plan, up to $50,000. Payment plan requests will be available online soon: please bookmark this page and check back for additional updates.

Please also note that effective March 30, 2020 all taxpayers who file a State of CA tax return less than $1 million dollars will now have until July 31, 2020 to file their return. If you qualify for this extension it is automatic and you do not need to apply.

Local Grants

Berkeley Business Continuity Grant: The City of Berkeley has launched the Berkeley Business Continuity Grants, an emergency relief fund with an allocation of $1 million to help mitigate COVID-19 related financial losses that Berkeley’s small businesses have suffered. The grant is available to any existing business or nonprofit organization located within the City of Berkeley that had an active business license with the City of Berkeley in 2019 and/or submitted an application for a 2020 license by March 1, 2020. Additional information is available here.

If you’re an individual who has lost their work or furloughed or laid off temporarily due to COVID-19, and you are work authorized, you should be eligible for unemployment. In California, you can apply for unemployment with EDD here.

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