Cubanissimo food truck

Food trucks, like Cubanissimo food truck based in Orcutt, have suffered from state COVID-19 restrictions. Food trucks in Santa Barbara County could qualify as microbusinesses eligible for state grants of up to $2,500. 

Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grants will soon be available to help very small businesses suffering financial strains from the pandemic in Santa Barbara County, and upcoming workshops will help business owners apply.

The application period will open March 7, with grants available on a rolling basis until all funds are expended, said a spokesman for the county, which is offering the grants program in partnership with the Santa Barbara Foundation and the California Office of the Small Business Advocate

Eligible microbusinesses may apply for grants of up to $2,500 from the more than $500,000 available in Santa Barbara County.

Staff from the county and Santa Barbara Foundation will host two informational workshops for microbusiness owners interested in applying for grants at noon Tuesday, March 15, and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 24.

Those planning to attend a workshop should register in advance at www.sbfoundation.org/covid-19-business-community-resources/microbusiness-relief-program/.

“The pandemic has been especially hard on very small businesses that often operate without much cushion,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Joan Hartmann. “These microbusiness grants may serve as a lifeline to reestablishing reserves or as a means to invest in people, materials or new ways of doing business.

“The grants offer another important resource to help businesses bounce back from the pandemic,” Hartmann said. “We hope that many entrepreneurs will take advantage of this opportunity; microbusinesses contribute significantly to the economic well-being of our entire county.”

Qualified microbusinesses include those launched before Dec. 31, 2019, that are currently operating or have a clear plan to reopen, were significantly impacted by the pandemic, had less than $50,000 in revenues in the 2019 tax year and fewer than the equivalent of five full-time employees in 2019 and 2020.

Other criteria also apply, and microbusiness owners can learn more and access an application form by visiting www.sbfoundation.org/covid-19-business-community-resources/microbusiness-relief-program/.

Applications will be time- and date-stamped and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications will not be accepted by email or fax but after March 7 may be submitted electronically via the Santa Barbara Foundation grants portal or printed and mailed in a sealed envelope to the Santa Barbara Foundation, 1111 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Applications in a sealed envelope may also be hand-delivered to that address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact the Santa Barbara Foundation at 805-963-1873.

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