CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Applications for Round 2 of California's Small Business Relief Grant Program are set to open Tuesday.
Alejandra Diaz Baylon, a small business owner in Salinas applied in the first round. She sells products from Oaxaca, Mexico. The biggest challenge she’s faced throughout the pandemic is affording rent. She still doesn’t know if her application was approved.
“The last thing I was informed is that they’re looking at my bank accounts,” said Diaz Baylon. “I don’t fully understand if I’ve been approved. I think the decision will be made when they go through the whole process and review the bank accounts.”
Although she doesn’t know if she will be receiving grant money she said the process is stressful. She is still hopeful that the state will help.
“The not knowing what’s happening, really,” said Diaz Baylon. “The system doesn’t tell us how the process is going. It only tells you it’s in process but, it doesn’t tell you anything else.”
The Salinas United Business Association (SUBA) helped about 40 small businesses in East Salinas submit an application during the first round. The director of SUBA, Alejandro Chavez said only seven of the submitted applications were approved so far. The most challenging part of the application was the platform itself, he said.
“So we really fell behind on applications but given that and given that we learned,” said Director Chavez. “I think the process will be a lot smoother this time.”
400 businesses in the Central Coast received funding.
“233 businesses in Monterey County, 34 businesses in San Benito County, and 133 businesses in Santa Cruz County received awards,” said Kaitlin Lewis, California Assistant Deputy Director of Communications
All first round applicants will be automatically enrolled in the second round, and small businesses or small nonprofits operating in the state can apply. Applications will be accepted until February 8th at 6 p.m. Call centers will be available for support Tuesday through Saturday.
The first round ran through December 30th to January 13th.