California Small Business Grants: Top 13+ picks for Minorities & Veterans (+ Application Guide)

california small business grants

The California Small Business Grant Program awards grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to qualifying small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Probably, businesses that are affected by COVID-19 and its associated health and safety restrictions. Discover more on California small business grants, for minorities, veterans, applications, and orange county California small business grants. Keep reading and exploring.

California Small Business Grants

Businesses affected by COVID-19 and pandemic-related health and safety restrictions are eligible for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. However, whether they have been open or plan to reopen since June 1, 2019. Meanwhile, applicants that are qualified for the waitlist are not required to reapply.

However, the state has named Lendistry as the program’s intermediary. Which is used for disbursing grant funds to every small business in California eligible for the grant.


Nonetheless, new applicants who meet the eligibility requirements may apply for round 6 of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants Program and applications from Wednesday, April 28 to Thursday, May 4. Meanwhile, round 6 is now available to small businesses and charities that applied. But, perhaps, were not chosen in any of the previous rounds (1–5). Moreover, waitlisted applicants who are qualified do not need to reapply; they will be automatically considered in round 6.

Deeper Explanation

Businesses affected by COVID-19 and pandemic-related health and safety restrictions are eligible for grants. Ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 whether they have been open or plan to reopen since June 1, 2019. The grant award is determined by the business’s annual gross income for the 2019 tax year. Businesses with annual gross revenue of between $1,000 and $100,000, for example, are eligible for a $5,000 grant.

In general, the program is administered by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate. Which earned an additional $2.1 billion as part of the state-funded COVID-19 relief package signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in late February. However, CalOSBA announced four new funding rounds for the program in early March. Perhaps, with rounds 5 and 6 available to qualifying first-time applicants, as previously stated by CDA. Rounds 1 and 2 were covered by the December state package.

On the other hand, lendistry, the state-designated intermediary, evaluates applications for eligibility. As well as consults with CalOSBA to prioritize grant awards based on a variety of criteria. Which applies regional distribution in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. However, businesses can use the grant funds to offset costs incurred as a result of pandemic-related health and safety restrictions, such as business interruptions.

Basic Uses Of The Grants to Eligible Business

Uses that are permissible include, but are not limited to:

  • Both employee costs, such as payroll and compensated sick, medical, or family leave.
  • Prior to March 1, 2020, rent, utilities, mortgage principal and interest payments, and other debt obligations
  • Costs associated with adhering to federal, state, or local regulations for reopening, including PPE materials, monitoring, staff training, and equipment.

Brief Summary

CalOSBA released preliminary data for rounds 1 and 2 last month, detailing the industries and demographics of selected applicants. Grants were awarded to small businesses and charities in all 58 California counties, with 64.8 percent of grants going to applicants from low- to moderate-income families, for example. Keep reading to discover California small business grants for minorities and applications.

Orange County California Small Business Grants

Orange County Council California established the small business grants assistance program to assist small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The program provides grants to small business in the City of Orange County California using funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and CARES Act funds given by Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner. Currently, the Small Business Assistance Program is offering one grant: a $20,000 Employee Retention Grant. We are not accepting applications for the Business Relief Grant at the moment due to a funding shortage.

Meanwhile, small businesses with a minimum of one year in Orange and between one and fifty employees may be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 to cover payroll, capital, equipment, and operating expenses.


Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this grant funding, companies must be located in Orange County’s unincorporated areas. However, have a staff of 25 or fewer workers, be current on Unemployment Insurance (UI) taxes. As well as be in good standing with the State of California. In Addition, the general requirements that employers must meet in order to be eligible for municipal funding include the following:

  • Must be a for-profit corporation operating in Orange County’s unincorporated areas.
  • It cannot be a sole proprietorship or a home-based company.
  • May apply for a single site or location
  • Each company can submit only one application
  • You have to pay at least a minimum wage as an employee
  • Must be able to show a need for economic assistance as a result of COVID-19’s effects
  • Avoid profit dublication
  • Must be able to enter into a grant agreement with Orange County that satisfies all of the application’s requirements.
  • You must complete the W-9 form

California Small Business Grants for Minorities

Minority business owners face many obstacles when beginning or expanding their small businesses, including difficulty obtaining affordable small-business loans. Grants and financial support for businesses will assist in bridging the funding gap.

The following are some of the best California small business grants and other funding opportunities available for minorities-owned businesses.


Grantseekers may use to search for and apply for federal funding opportunities. It provides data on over 1,000 grant programs administered by all 26 federal grant-making departments, including the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration of the United States.

To apply for federal grants, you must obtain a DUNS number (a unique nine-digit identification number) for your company from Dun & Bradstreet. However, register to do business with the United States government through the System Award Management website; and establish an account at

#2. USDA Grants for Rural Business Enterprises

This is a USDA grant for the growth or expansion of small businesses located in rural areas. Regardless of whether they are minority-owned. You must have less than 50 workers, less than $1 million in sales, and be located in a qualifying rural area to apply.

Grants vary in size from $10,000 to $500,000. They may be used for a variety of purposes, including training and technical assistance. As well as land acquisition or construction, and long-term business planning. However, applications are approved through the USDA’s Rural Development state offices once a year.

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#3. National Self-Employed Association

This not-for-profit trade group assists small businesses and entrepreneurs with educational opportunities and grants. To apply for a grant of up to $4,000, you must become an active member of the association, give a thorough description of how the funds will be used, demonstrate how the grant will aid in the development of your company, and provide supporting documents.

#4. FedEx Grants for Small Businesses

FedEx Small Business annually awards grants of up to $25,000 to ten California small businesses. However, they have awarded over $375,000 in grants to entrepreneurs since 2013. Profit small business with a minimum of six months in operation is entitled to enter. The grants suit minorities California small business.

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#5. Programs for Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer

These two small business initiatives offer contracts and grants to entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize emerging biomedical technologies. This is also part of California small business grants for minorities.

#6. Agency for Minority Business Development

This US Department of Commerce development agency fosters the growth of minority-owned small businesses by linking owners to funding capital, government contracts, and market opportunities. For additional details, please contact your nearest MBDA business center.

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#7. Development Council for the Creation of Minority Suppliers

The council is a member-based corporation dedicated to expanding business opportunities. Probably, for accredited minority-owned companies. It is the Business Consortium Fund operator, a not-for-profit business development program that provides funding and advisory services to its members.

#8. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program

Small business owners who are socially or economically disadvantaged may qualify for assistance through this SBA 8(a) program. Which provides business development assistance, training, and management, and technical guidance.

To qualify, a small business must be at least 51% owned and operated by a person who has faced racial bias or discrimination and has been put at a disadvantage economically due to race or ethnic origin. The following is a list of conditions for eligibility.

#9. Small Business Empowerment Program of Operation Hope

Operation Hope is a program for young entrepreneurs who live in low-income areas, which also include minority populations. The program provides business preparation and therapy, as well as access to California small-business grants options. Meanwhile, it’s a 12-week training program supplemented by seminars. Perhaps, on company finance, credit, and money management.

California Small Business Grants for Veterans

The US government has allocated $90,919.00 in government grants and $61,971.00 in other forms of government financial assistance to qualifying applicants across all states. Veterans living in California may be able to apply for a variety of veteran small business grants and benefits. With the following criteria below.

  • A veteran who joined the military, navy, or air force prior to September 7, 1980. Alternatively:
  • You must be a veteran who enlisted in the military, navy, or air force after September 7, 1980, and served on active duty for at least 24 months.
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Veteran Health Care Benefits

Veterans in California are entitled to qualify for additional federally funded health care benefits. California currently has 1,972,000 veterans – 1,805,300 male veterans and 166,700 female veterans. They will be eligible for veteran health care grants for as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for veteran grants.

Grants for Disabled Veterans in California

There are actually over 1,474,100 “wartime” veterans in California, which means they served in one of the following wars:

  • Over 503,900 soldiers out of 1,474,100 joined and survived the Gulf War.
  • Over 640,200 soldiers out of 1,474,100 joined and survived the Vietnam Era.
  • About 223,000 soldiers out of 1,474,100 joined and survived the Korean War.
  • Over 184,200 soldiers out of 1,474,100 joined and survived World War II.

However, veterans who have sustained permanent injuries in past or contemporary conflicts are entitled to apply. Perhaps, for and receive Veteran Grants for Disabled benefits from the military office in California.

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Grants for Veteran Education, Veteran Small Business, and Veteran Housing in California

California’s office of finance has designated government support for education grants, small business grants, and housing grants exclusively for eligible veterans in the state. It makes no difference whether you are a “wartime” or a “peacetime” veteran; veteran grants are open to anyone who has served in or is currently enlisting in the military, naval force, or air force.

For example, veterans in California are not only eligible to apply for general small business grants, but also for small business grants for veterans. In the case of housing and education grants, the reverse is true.

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California Small Business Grants Applications

Applying for government grants is always free. However, depending on the funding opportunity for which you are applying, the process can be very complicated. Meanwhile, to apply for these grants, contact the state’s financial assistance agencies. This article contains different California small business grants applications.

How Much Is the Small Business Grant in California?

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate administers the California Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant (CalOSBA). The Program offers competitive micro grants of $2,500 to eligible microbusinesses affected by COVID-19 and the associated health and safety limitations.

How Do I Get Local Grants for My Small Business?

Government agencies, state organizations, and private corporations all offer grants for small businesses. The government database, your local Small Business Development Center, and nonprofits such as the Local Initiatives Support Corp are excellent places to begin your search.

How do I find grants in California?

The California Grants Portal is your one-stop shop for locating all competitive or first-come grants and loans given by California state agencies.

What Is the Largest Small Business Grant?

Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan invests an additional $1.5 billion in COVID-19 relief grants to help small companies recover from the epidemic, boosting the total to $4 billion and making it the largest small business award program ever.

What Grant Is Easiest to Get?

Educational grants and scholarships are by far the most accessible types of funding. These awards are available to college students who meet specific requirements.

Is CA Small Business Grant Taxable Income?

Yes. You will get tax information about the grant money before February 15, 2023. You will need to report this on your tax returns. If you need more information, please talk to a tax expert.

What Is Stimulus Grant?

The stimulus will pay the extension of unemployment benefits, the eviction moratorium, federal student debt forgiveness, and a new wave of stimulus cheques.


Businesses that have been affected by pandemic/currently have/intend to reopen with CO19 or pandemic restrictions can apply for grants of $5,000 to $25,000. Those already on the list for California small business grants are fine and don’t have to reapply again. However, there are Orange County California small business grants available and applications.

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