Bakersfield Launches New Loan-to-Donation Business Resumption Program | New


The city of Bakersfield on Friday unveiled a new $ 1.9 million program designed to help local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering forgivable loans of up to $ 50,000 depending on the size of their payroll .

Applications for the new ReStart Loan-to-Grant program will be accepted online starting at 8 a.m. on Monday. Qualified beneficiaries must be located within city limits, have 25 full-time employees or less, and report annual income not to exceed $ 2 million, among other requirements.

The program is at least the third wave of pandemic relief funds offered by the city. It is funded by federal funding from the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus program.

Demand for the money is likely to be strong as small businesses have, for a variety of reasons, had a harder time obtaining financial assistance during the crisis, said Kelly Bearden, director of the Cal State Bakersfield Small Business Development Center.

“It’s another tool in the old hangar,” he says.

The city said applications are expected to be accepted until November 30 or until the new fund runs out. He said companies receiving money under the program could spend it on salaries, running costs, insurance, rent, supplies or utilities.

The loans will be canceled if the recipients are still functioning 12 months after receiving the money, according to guidelines released Friday. In the meantime, they have to pay interest payments of 3% every month.

Nonprofit businesses are not eligible, nor are churches, lending institutions, or businesses related to gaming or adult entertainment.

Sole proprietorships are limited to one loan and the amount is calculated at $ 2,500 per employee.

The program will be administered by Access Plus Capital, a branch of the Fresno Community Development Financial Institution.

Last month, the city launched a separate ReStart program specifically targeting micro-businesses. It provided a total of $ 70,000 in grants ranging from $ 3,500 to $ 5,000 each for businesses with five or fewer full-time employees.

Previously, the city’s B-Cares program, also funded by federal sources, paid nearly $ 6 million to 938 businesses affected by the pandemic.

Application information for the ReStart Loan-to-Grant program is available by calling Access Plus Capital at (661) 448-2133, or the Bakersfield Women’s Business Center: (661) 567-0410. Information is also available online at

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