San Diego County has extended the deadline for micro-businesses to apply for the second round of free $2,500 county grants to help those who have historically faced barriers to obtaining capital. 

Micro-businesses will have until July 15 to apply for the grant, partially funded by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. The initial deadline was June 24. 

County supervisors unanimously approved in February giving out 1,550 of the $2,500 grants, totaling $3.8 million, to COVID-19-affected businesses earning less than $50,000 a year in 2019 with fewer than five full-time employees and have not previously received money from the program. 

The list could include home businesses like pet sitters, shoppers, cleaners and home health care workers, and sidewalk vendors like food cart operators. 

After the board’s approval, Chairman Nathan Fletcher said the grant program helps small businesses suffering from the pandemic’s effects.

“There’s always more we can do,” Fletcher said. “So … this small business COVID-19 grant program will help get about $3.8 million out to some of the smallest businesses, often family-run businesses, to help them purchase equipment, invest in working capital, apply for and renew permits, pay off any debts accrued due to the pandemic and offset costs resulting from the pandemic.”

The grant application page can be reached either through the County’s Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program webpage or directly at the Small Business Development Center’s website.

The County has contracted with Southwestern College’s Small Business Development Center to collect and process online applications and to conduct outreach along with the Asian Business Association of San Diego, the Logan Heights Community Development Corporation, the South County Economic Development Council, and the San Diego East County Economic Development Council. 

County officials say the grants must be distributed in 2022. There will be an additional application period if there is grant money left from the first and second rounds. 

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