By Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media
Lendistry, a Black-led-and-operated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), will be accepting applications April 28 through May 4 for a fifth round of funding in the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.
Late last year, the state selected the Los Angeles-based company to administer $2.075 billion in grants to small businesses, nonprofits, and cultural institutions impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
This round of funding reflects an increase in the grants made available through the program. Like previous cycles, individual payments will range from $5,000 to $25,000.
According to Lendistry, new applicants must meet eligibility criteria found at CAReliefGrant.com. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, or 3 that have been waitlisted do not need to re-apply.
“The demand for funding has been immense, with small businesses and nonprofits reaching out for relief and support as they endure through this pandemic,” said Everett K. Sands, Lendistry’s founder and CEO. “During the initial funding rounds, we successfully connected small businesses and nonprofits with grants across all 58 counties in California, and we’re eager to use our platform to swiftly deploy this critical, additional funding so business owners can keep their lights on and serve their communities during this trying time.”
The California legislature recently approved this latest round of funding in the relief program administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
Since the initial launch of the funding rounds more than 40,000 grantees in all areas of the state have been awarded funding. More than 350,000 grant applications have been successfully submitted, and 87% of selected applicants represent underserved and disadvantaged small businesses. According to the governor’s office, demand for grant funding has far surpassed supply, and this latest round of financing presents one more opportunity for eligible companies to receive relief that will help keep their doors open.
“I was so glad to finally see that our company had been selected for a business grant in the third round of the CA Relief grant program,” said Pleshette Robertson, founder, CEO and Chief Editor of Sac Cultural Hub, a print and digital magazine that serves a largely African American readership across Northern California.
“I was getting so discouraged but was jumping for joy when I received the email notification,” Robertson continued. “My business was hit hard by this COVID-19 pandemic and the grant was a huge help for contributing towards meeting payroll and our monthly office lease. As a Black-owned, woman-owned business, it has been difficult meeting all operating expenses and keeping the business going.”
Grants, the state says, will not be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, the selection of grantees will be based on the “program’s priorities.”
For application assistance and more information on application deadlines, grant requirements, eligibility criteria, instructional videos, and more, visit CAReliefGrant.com.