After the Santa Clara City Council unanimously approved creating a $500,000 COVID-19 emergency grant program for local businesses and nonprofits, the City turned to Santa Clara-based Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce for program outreach, helping businesses apply for the grants and continued program funding.
The grant program offers $5,000 grants to essential businesses and $10,000 to non-essential business, as designated by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. The City started accepting online applications on April 17.
“The Council has done a good job,” says Chamber President and CEO Nick Kaspar. “They recognized the amount of money that was needed and they were generous. And they made the application fast and easy.
“They understood that the program needed to be grants — not loans,” he continued. “Small businesses have little space to cut back. With their businesses shut down, the more debt they incur they will be less likely to start up again.”
“We are thankful to Mayor Gillmor for understanding that businesses are struggling and for her efforts to increase the fund. As the local chamber, we want to ensure small business owners in our area understand the aid available to them and how they can apply to access those funds now.”
Originally, the Council allocated $250,000 to the program, and Gillmor advocated for doubling the amount.
The Chamber offers of portfolio of online resources — including online networking events — for businesses working from home. Next week’s offerings include using Zoom video conferencing, and a Monday morning yoga class. Visit www.facebook.com/SVCChamber for more information.
The Chamber’s website, www.svcentralchamber.com, also offers an extensive list of resources for local, state and federal COVID-19 programs for businesses, employers and workers as well as corporate programs to help small businesses and those working at home.