Santa Cruz Microbusiness $2500 Grant Program

The Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant (MBCRG) Program is State funded through the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). The Santa Cruz SBDC In partnership with the County of Santa Cruz and El Pajaro CDC will carry out this program to fund 105 microbusinesses at $2,500 each. The second round of applications will be open in July 2022 (from July 10 – August 15, 2022)


Grant Eligibility

Grant Eligibility

You can qualify to apply if you meet these criteria:

  • Located in Santa Cruz County
  • Been in business since December 2019
  • Made less than $50,000 gross revenue in 2019
  • Significantly Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Currently in business or plan to reopen
  • Have less than 5 full-time equivalent employees
  • Did not receive a CA Grant through Lendistry

How to Apply

How to Apply

All you need to do is fill out the application which should take 15-20 minutes. The first section is a qualifications section. If you pass that section, you will be able to fill out the rest of the application. 

You will need to upload:

  • A photo ID (can be a foreign ID)
  • 2019 Tax Return (or if you do not have a tax return, another document that verifies you are a business- see FAQs below)
  • W9 Form (Click here for form)

Click the button below to apply.

The Santa Cruz Micro Business Grant is now closed

How Funding Will be Awarded

How Funding Will be Awarded

There will be a total of 105 grants of $2500 given out. 

The application will open in July 2022 and remain open until funds are used up. The Second round of applications (from July 10 – August 15, 2022) will be reviewed the third week of August 2022.

If there are more than 105 applications, awardees will be chosen through a lottery system. This is not a first come, first serve application process.

Selected grant applicants will be required to submit additional documentation prior to award disbursement.

Upcoming Info Sessions

Upcoming Info Sessions






How many grants will be awarded?

105 grants of $2,500 each

Do I have to pay the money back, like a loan?

No. The funds you receive are a grant, not a loan, and do not need to be paid back.

Will I have to pay taxes if I receive this grant money?

No, for CA State, you will not be taxed on this grant money. It is unknown at this time what the Federal Government will do.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

No, you do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply.

If I do not have a Tax Return, can I still apply? What other document can I upload instead?

Yes, you can apply without a tax return. If you do not have a 2019 tax return, you can upload one of the following:

  • A local business permit or license
  • A bank statement
  • Trade Account
  • 3rd Party Verification Form (Click here for form)

If you need assistance or have questions email

Can I apply if I received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program?

Yes, you can apply if you received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL or other pandemic-related grant or loan programs excluding the California Relief Grant Program.

Can I apply if I received funds from the California Relief Small Business COVID-19 Grant Program through Lendistry?

No, you may not apply if you received funds from the California Relief Grant Program.

Do I have to fill out the application online? Can I submit my application via mail or in person?

All applications must be filled out online. No physical applications will be accepted. If you need help accessing a computer with internet access or filling out the application, please email

Do I need to submit all the documents? What if I don’t have all the documents that I need to apply?

You must submit ALL the required documents. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need assistance or have questions email

If my business receives a grant, what can I use the money for? What can’t I use the money for?

Applicants will be required to self-certify that grant funds will be used for one or more of the following eligible uses:

  • The purchase of new certified equipment.
  • Investment in working capital.
  • Application for, or renewal of, a local permit including, but not limited to, a permit to operate as a sidewalk vendor.
  • Payment of business debt accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or business interruptions or closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 12100.83.

If I have a home based business can I apply?

Yes, you can. You still need to provide one source of documentation that qualifies you as a business.

I own/operate more than one business. Am I allowed to submit an application for each business I own if they meet the qualifications?

No, you may only apply one time even if you own, co-own, or operate multiple businesses. Only one business will be eligible.

I have multiple locations for a single business, which address should I use?

Please select what you might consider the “primary” business location.

My business has multiple locations. How do I know if I qualify? 

Your application answers and financial information must pertain only to any locations in Santa Cruz County.

Can I apply if I am a nonprofit?

Yes. You have to have $1000 minimum in gross revenue to be able to apply.

How will applications be selected to receive funding?  

If the amount of eligible applications exceeds the amount of funding available, the selection process will be conducted by a lottery. This is not a first-come, first-serve process.

How will I be contacted or know if I will receive a grant?

You will be notified by the email you identify on your application.

Will I be contacted if I do not receive a grant?

Yes, you will be notified by email whether or not you receive a grant.

Outreach Partners

Outreach Partners

The Santa Cruz SBDC, the County of Santa Cruz and El Pajaro CDC are partnering with community and city organizations to reach as many underserved business owners as possible.

Contact Info

Contact Info