The City of San Bernardino has awarded $730,000 to 30 local small businesses and non-profits as part of a grant program it launched last fall. Within the next few months, the City anticipates awarding an additional $2.27 million to approximately 120 additional organizations.
“We are so grateful to San Bernardino for this grant,” said Viva La Boba co-owner Tansu Philip, who received $25,000. “We are going to use these funds to take care of our staff and expand our business.”
The Mayor and City Council allocated $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to create the Small Business and Non-Profit Training and Grant Program in partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Qualifying small businesses and non-profits located in the City of San Bernardino, receive funding between $10,000 and $35,000 each.
Funds were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible San Bernardino-based organizations that completed an online application, participated in an SBDC training program focusing on growing or sustaining their business, and took part in a one-on-one consultation session with an SBDC consultant.
Grant recipients were grateful for the business training in addition to receiving the funds.
“The four-week marketing class we took was very handy,” said Gear Doctor owner Alfredo Castro, who received $25,000. “Now we are on social media, and it is working out for us.”
Within the next seven weeks, City staff expect to award the remaining funds when the remaining program participants complete their training.
“The Mayor and City Council recognize the vital role our local small businesses and non-profits play in San Bernardino. They are our local employers, our service providers, our shops, and our restaurants,” said San Bernardino Economic Development Manager Amanda Hernandez.
Grant funds may be used for working capital to cover the day-to-day business operating expenses such as rent/lease payments, mortgage payments, payroll and benefit costs, utility expenses, inventory, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), or other similar expenses that occur in the normal course of operations.
Dr. Zachary Ginder, Executive Director of the Inland Empire Autism Assessment Center, which received $35,000, said, “This will go to help support changing the lives of so many families. Thank you, San Bernardino.”