The additional funding brings the County’s total commitment to $70 million
Ventura, CA – The Board of Supervisors has approved $12.7 million in funding for the County’s Fourth Business Assistance Grant program. This action brings the County total to $70 million in Business Assistance Grant funds since the beginning of the pandemic. Following an overwhelming response of 1,455 applications in the fourth round of the program, the funds will allow nearly 1,100 eligible businesses and nonprofits to receive grants. The Board also authorized $3.7 million in unused program funds from the third round of grants to supplement funding to all eligible businesses and organizations in the fourth round. At the completion of this fourth round, over 7,000 businesses will have received $10,000 in grant funding.
“The applications received in this last round exceeded our expectations and we are grateful that our Board has stepped up to meet the need and support businesses that have faced deep hardships,” said Chair of the Board Supervisor Linda Parks. “This highlights our Board’s commitment to going the extra mile to support our local businesses and nonprofits at this stage in the pandemic.”
The Fourth Business Assistance Program was approved by the Board on June 22, 2021 to give eligible businesses who did not receive a grant in any of the previous grant programs another opportunity to apply for assistance. The $3.7 million unused funds are from the 12% of eligible businesses from first and second Business Grant Programs that did not apply for the third program. Nearly 46% of businesses that applied in the fourth round indicated in their applications that they are minority-owned businesses, 41% are woman-owned, and 4% are owned by veterans. Approximately 37% of applicants in the fourth round are in low to moderate income communities.
“We are very grateful that so many businesses, especially those who may have previously faced barriers applying, will now have the support they need to keep their doors open,” said County Executive Officer, Mike Powers.
During the fourth program, County Disaster Service Workers conducted targeted outreach to eligible businesses that had not previously applied due to barriers including access to technology and limited digital literacy. All business owners that attended the walk-in centers reported that they were very likely to not have applied without the personal assistance. The outreach included five in-person assistance centers where business owners received one-on-one assistance, help scanning documents, and access to email. County staff members canvassed neighborhoods to provide information and encourage eligible business owners to apply. City partners also helped identify eligible businesses that had not previously applied.
The business assistance grant application period has closed. Information about all rounds of COVID-19 Business Assistance Grants is available at https://vcbusinessgrants.org.