Small Business Resources

Azusa Small Business Support Grant Program (SBSGP)

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

To further support small businesses in Azusa that have experienced negative financial impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Azusa has created the Azusa Small Business Support Grant Program. Through this program, eligible small businesses operating in the City of Azusa will have the opportunity to apply for one-time cash assistance for a list of approved uses aimed at supporting business recovery and longer-term resiliency. The goal of this program is to encourage broad private-sector reinvestment into existing facilities and infrastructure, public-facing enhancements and amenities, and critical technology and business systems that may have been deferred due to impacts of the pandemic.   

 

Participation in the Program will be based on availability of funds and submission of an application and supporting documentation which meet the program guidelines. Individual grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis, and shall range between $10,000 - $50,000 to certain eligible businesses commensurate with fiscal impact to the business and justifiable need. There is a limited allocation of funds available for the Program; therefore, depending on the number of businesses that apply and qualify, it is possible that not all eligible businesses can be assisted. Applying is not a guarantee of funding. Selection of applicants for grant receipt shall be based upon the recommendations of the Program Administrators under the City Manager’s discretion, including final decisions on program eligibility, business categorization, qualification of project requests, and grant amounts.

 

Applications will be accepted beginning July 1, 2022 with a submission deadline of July 28, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. Applications may be submitted via email to sbsgp@azusaca.gov or delivered in person by the submission deadline to:


Small Business Support Grant Program

City Clerk’s Office

Attn: City Manager’s Office

213 E. Foothill Blvd.

Azusa, CA 91702

BUSINESS ELIGIBILITY

Outlined below are the eligibility criteria and grant categories for a business to receive a grant. 

Small Business Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be a commercial business located and licensed in Azusa. 
  • Business was operational as of March 1, 2020, is still in business at the time of application submittal, and intends to remain open indefinitely.
  • Business must be in good standing with the City (i.e. proper and current licensing; no outstanding violations or balance with the City; in full compliance with the Azusa Municipal Code). 
  • Business must be located in a ground-floor commercial space. 
  • Business employed 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or less as of March 1, 2020.
  • Business entity earned $3 million in gross annual revenue or less in calendar year 2019.
  • Business must have experienced mandatory shutdown or substantial (and demonstrable) change in business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Businesses must be able to demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19 and that the amount of lost revenue exceeds the amount of requested assistance. 
  • Business experienced a net revenue loss (gross revenue net of operating expenses) of at least 20% for the calendar year 2020 OR calendar year 2021 compared to calendar year 2019. A business cannot receive more in grant funding than total revenue loss.
  • For businesses with multiple locations, only employment and revenue figures for the Azusa location(s) can be used to qualify for a grant under this program. Multiple locations within Azusa operating under a single business entity will be considered one business for purposes of the Program.
  • Businesses in the hardest hit sectors including: restaurant/dining, retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment, and other service sector businesses may be prioritized for funding.

Ineligible Businesses (Partial List)

  • Businesses that are restricted (limited) in providing goods and services to patrons over the age of 18.
  • Passive businesses. These include rental properties or any business in which the owner does not actively participate and/or occupy the assets improved or operated with the grant proceeds.
  • Home-based businesses. 
  • Businesses which have previously received alternative sources of funding in the form of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan, or COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance. Priority consideration shall be given to businesses that have not received other COVID-19 related assistance.  
  • City employees, elected and appointed officials are not eligible to participate in this program.

View a full list of ineligible businesses 

USE OF FUNDS

Grant funds may be used to offset costs to the business for certain eligible grant categories which are outlined below.

 

Eligible Use of Funds:

  • Building Façade Improvements to resolve blight and/or improve the general appearance of the business* 
  • Expenses to enhance outdoor operations, such as outdoor dining or for other public/consumer gathering areas*
  • Exterior and interior facility built-improvements and amenities aimed at enhancing business operations, the customer experience, and/or public health measures*
  • Business systems, such as point-of-sale software and other technology needs
  • Safety and security measures (e.g. security cameras, alarm systems, IT cybersecurity software)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and/or sanitation supplies and equipment
  • Improvements to business parking, open spaces and plazas* 
  • Business signage, design and branding efforts* 
  • Exterior cleanliness and beautification (e.g. such as professional cleaning and landscaping services)
  • Training, workforce development, and technical assistance to assist with business planning needs

 

*May require property owner and/or city approval. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all necessary approvals and/or permits associated with their respective project. The Grant Award is subject to City/County Approvals including but not limited to Planning, Building, Utilities, Engineering, LA County Public Health Department and LA County Fire Department. If approvals are not granted or permits are not obtained the Grant Award may be revoked. 


APPLICATION, REVIEW, AND APPROVAL PROCESS

Applications will be accepted beginning July 1, 2022 with a submission deadline of July 28, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. Applications may be submitted via email to sbsgp@azusaca.gov or delivered in person by the submission deadline to:

 

Small Business Support Grant Program

City Clerk’s Office

Attn: City Manager’s Office

213 E. Foothill Blvd.

Azusa, CA 91702

 

The City will not accept applications after the application period closes. The City is not responsible for any applications that are not received by deadline. The City reserves the right to reject any or all applications. Only complete applications will be eligible. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 


Basis For Selection

Applying is not a guarantee of funding. Individual grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis to certain eligible businesses only. As there is a limited allocation of funds available for the Program, it is possible that not all eligible businesses will be assisted. Selection of qualified applicants for final grant award shall be based upon the following key measures:

  • Justifiable financial need 
  • Scope and impact of project
  • Broader community benefit

Important Dates

DateProgram Activities
July 28, 2022, at 5:30 p.m.
Deadline to submit a completed Grant Application with supporting documents
August 2022
City review of the comprehensive application and supporting materials (additional follow-up may be necessary)
August/September 2022
City determination of overall application ranking and grant award amount
September 2022(Estimate)
 Approved Grant Agreements are executed and checks are issued to businesses


The application process will include:

  • City review of comprehensive application and supporting materials based on need and intended project request. Grant Program Administrators may contact applicants directly with follow-up questions/review.
  • Additional documents may be requested and must be submitted to the City within a reasonable amount of time to ensure the program moves forward otherwise the City reserves the right to move on to the next candidate. 
  • A discretionary administrative level review process may be used if the program is oversubscribed.
  • The City Manager or his designee will make final decisions on Grant Program eligibility and adherence and any related interpretations necessary to make a grant decision.
  • Small Business Support Grant Program awardees shall be notified by email of their selection and grant amount, along with further instructions prior to grant disbursement.
  • Businesses will be required to sign a Grant Agreement acknowledging and agreeing to comply with the grant terms.
  • The City will award grant funds in a single disbursement.
  • A Grant Award does not constitute approval of proposed project. If applicable, all necessary project approvals/permits must be obtained prior to beginning project. 
  • Business must expend all grant funds on eligible expenses within one (1) year of the effective date of Grant Agreement. Any portion of the grant funds not expended on eligible expenses shall be returned to the City within thirty (30) days of written notice. 
  • Businesses may be required to submit a report, including invoices, canceled checks or bank statements demonstrating that the funds were spent in compliance with the eligible expense. In the event a business does not expend the funds in a manner consistent with program guidelines or does not expend the entire grant amount, the business may be required to return funds to the City.

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE OR QUESTIONS

If you have questions about the grant application, please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). You may also contact Carina Campos, Economic Development Specialist at sbsgp@azusaca.gov or (626) 812-5102.


PUBLIC RECORD

Unless otherwise exempt under applicable law, applications and application materials are public records. All information received from an applicant, whether received in connection with a grant application or in connection with any grant-funded activities performed, are subject to disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act, unless otherwise exempt. Examples of potential exemptions include social security numbers, tax identification numbers, or other security-related information.

 

Businesses that are awarded grant funding through this Program shall maintain all documentation related to the grant program, award, use of funds for a period of seven (7) years after project completion.


AFFIDAVIT, WAIVER, AND RELEASE FORM

All businesses offered a grant who choose to accept grant funding will be required to sign a non-negotiable affidavit, waiver, and release form prior to payment being made. The affidavit will 

 

require the applicant to declare that all information contained in the application is true and correct and can be used as admissible evidence in any legal proceeding against the business if the City must recoup any grant funds provided under false pretenses.

 

PAYMENT METHOD

Grant payments will be made by check in the business’ name. The City anticipates that qualified, selected small businesses will be issued payments by the end of September 2022 (estimate).


GENERAL SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT GRANT PROGRAM CONDITIONS

 

  1. The City reserves the right to withdraw or cancel the SBSG Program at any time without prior notice.
  2. The City reserves the right to postpone the SBSG Program at any time.
  3. The City reserves the right to seek clarification of information submitted in response to the SBSG Program Application.
  4. The City reserves the right to modify the SBSG Program as it deems necessary.
  5. Any material misrepresentations made by the applicant(s) will void the application and eliminate the applicant from further consideration.
  6. The City reserves the right to take all reasonable and appropriate steps to recover diverted funds.

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