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Claremont Emergency Small Business Grant Program

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We have received over 100 submissions as of May 18 at 1:40 pm. 

The intake form is no longer available


Provides emergency grants to Claremont-based businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, the Governor of California’s Executive Order, and/or the Los Angeles County Public Health Order “Safer at Home”
  • Helps businesses that are unable to pay employees, are unable to pay their commercial rent, and will not have enough cash-flow when the health order is lifted to be able to re-stock, re-supply, and re-staff their businesses
  • Qualified  applicants  will receive  their  grant  funding  in the form  of a check  issued  by  the City  of Claremont, upon completion of a grant agreement.
  • If the business is requesting assistance with their commercial lease in their Business Recovery Plan, that assistance will be issued directly to the bona fide landlord or property management company/agent.
  • Businesses  will be required  to provide documentation  of how they spent the funds. This could  be provided  in the form of canceled  checks,  receipts, or a bank statement

Eligible Activities

Small Business Grant Assistance can be provided under two Eligible Activity categories as defined by HUD:

  • a.Microenterprise assistance – 24 CFR 570.201(o)(1)(i) OR
  • b. Special Economic Development Activities – 24 CFR 570.203(b)

 Businesses will be assisted under only one of the categories. 

1. Microenterprise Assistance:
To be eligible, the business must have:

  • Five or fewer employees including the owner
  • Business owner must have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income

 Note:  The program will collect income and employee information as of now, not as it was prior to COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, the business may have had six employees, but laid off 3 and now may qualify as a microenterprise as long as the owner’s income is below 80% AMI now.

2. Special Economic Development Activities: 
Small Businesses that do not qualify as microenterprise may be assisted as a Special Economic Development Activity. To qualify as a Special Economic Development Activity, the business must meet a public benefit:

  • This means jobs made available to low/moderate persons are created or retained.
  • In accordance with 24 CFR 570.209(b) one Full Time Equivalent, permanent job must be created or retained for each $50,000 CDBG funds or $35,000 in the aggregate. This will be documented.
  • If a business applicant has laid off some or all employees, but reports they intend to hire once this crisis ends--this can be job retention/creation.

If a business applicant has not laid off employees but reports they will have to; they need to document that BUT FOR this assistance, they will have to lay off employees.  This can be accomplished through a self-certifying letter.

Should one business fail to meet the public benefit of creating 1 FTE per $50,000 of CDBG funds, or $35,000 in the aggregate, any “extra jobs” generated from another business will count towards the public benefit. 

Eligible Business Assistance: 

Assistance will be in the form of cash grants to Claremont businesses that have been closed or severely impacted by COVID-19, for the following purposes:

  • Monthly Commercial Rental and/or Utility Payments
  • Employee payroll
  • Working capital for payroll taxes or cost of goods, to continue operations or restock/resupply

The applicant can request a specific amount as described in their Business Recovery Plan, not to exceed $20,000

Eligible Businesses:

Business applicants must be eligible as either Microenterprise or Special Economic Development, and meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Small Businesses (SBA considers a small business to have less than 500 employees. Multi-national or publicly traded businesses are not eligible for this program.)
  • Commercial Businesses
  • Must be located in the City of Claremont
  • Business was impacted by COVID-19 (required to close as non-essential, reduced business due to Safer at Home order and social distancing, etc.)
  • The following is an exhaustive list of eligible business types: 
  • Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, etc.
  • Salons, barbers, and other grooming businesses
  • Gyms, day spas, and fitness studios
  • Retail and Commercial stores (such as consumer goods, electronics and appliances, health and sporting goods, furniture, clothing and shoes, kitchen equipment, books and entertainment stores, music and audio/visual equipment, etc.)


Application Process:

Grants will be awarded to qualified applicants on a “first come, first served” basis until funds run out.
  • Applications will be accepted starting at Noon on Monday, May 18th, 2020 through Monday, May 25th at Noon or when 20 applications have been received
  • Applicants must complete a brief initial intake form (available below on Monday May 18)
  • After submitting the initial intake form, applicants will receive an email with the complete pdf application and list of required documents:
  • The application will ask for proof of current commercial lease, a W-9 form, information about their employees and their demographics, and a proposal or Business Recovery Plan to describe how they will spend the grant.

Evaluation Criteria:  

In addition to submitting their Business Recovery Plan, the business grant applications will be evaluated based on the commitment of the business owner, who will be expected to sign personally for the grant.

Preference  will be given  to businesses  paying  commercial  rent  and operating  out  of a storefront in a commercial area, such as The Village or Foothill Boulevard.

Preference will also be given to businesses that have not been able to receive economic assistance from any other federal, state, or county programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program.

Conversely,  the following events or actions will disqualify the owner of a business from consideration for grant funding:   poor credit history, a bankruptcy in the last five years, City of Claremont Code Enforcement violations, or a questionable criminal record.

Request For Application

The intake form is no longer available.