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Hundreds apply for aid through City’s grant program
City selects 165 small businesses to receive funding
business relief program
The City of Turlock’s Small Business Relief Grant Program is awarding 165 local businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 financial aid through CARES Act funding (Journal file photo).

Over 160 Turlock businesses facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 will soon receive aid thanks to the City of Turlock’s Small Business Relief Grant Program.

The program is just one of many ways Turlock is spending nearly $3.5 million in federal coronavirus relief funding — $2.5 million from the CARES Act, and another $849,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The application period for the Small Business Relief Program went live on Nov. 6 and business owners were able to apply through Nov. 30.

According to Assistant to the City Manager for Housing and Economic Development Maryn Pitt, the City received 231 applications during that time, amounting to a total request of about $3.8 million. The Turlock City Council had previously authorized $825,000 to be used for the grant program, meaning 165 businesses out of the 231 which applied will receive aid from the total amount allocated.

“Given the volume of applications, no business was awarded the full amount of potential funding in an effort to assist as many businesses as possible,” Pitt said. 

Originally, businesses with zero to nine employees were eligible for up to $15,000, those with 10 to 19 employees could receive up to $20,000 and the maximum grant amount was up to $25,000 for businesses with 20 employees or more. Pitt did not state what the newly-adjusted awards amount to. 

An additional $10,000 was also allocated to Opportunity Stanislaus, which administered the program and provided financial, material and labor resources to create a designated website, market the program and help businesses with the grant application process — including those in underserved areas of town.

To be eligible for the grant program, the businesses had to be a City of Turlock-based business, with principal business facilities located in Turlock. Businesses were required to be for-profit, but lending and investment institutions, insurance companies and corporate-owned national chain businesses and stores were not eligible.

Pitt said that the City is currently notifying the 165 highest-graded businesses who were selected for the grant program and collecting their W-9 forms. The City will be issuing checks now until Dec. 31.  

“These funds were made available in addition to many businesses applying for and receiving PPP funds, IEDL funding, County Business Assistance grants, SBA Loan forgiveness and participating in the Turlock RAD card program,” Pitt said. 

In addition to the business grant program, the City Council had previously directed staff to create an emergency COVID-19 Mortgage, Rent and Utility Assistance Program with the funding from HUD, as well as support the County StanRAD card focused on the downtown area. Turlock received $125,000 from Stanislaus County for this program, which matches up to $100 of gift card funds purchased by community members to be used at 40 downtown businesses. 

While the original allocation of StanRAD funding has already been used, the City approved an additional allocation of $25,000 for continued support of the program which was recently made available and has also been used.