Small local businesses affected by COVID-19 can now apply for zero-interest loans from the City

Due to the overwhelming response, the City of Sacramento closed applications for the Small Business Relief Loan Program on midnight Friday, March 20, 2020. If additional funding becomes available, we will reopen the portal.

The City of Sacramento is now accepting applications for its $1 million economic relief fund for businesses affected by COVID-19. The fund will provide zero-interest secured loans of up to $25,000 per business.

“Staying home and limiting social interaction is what we need to do to slow the curve of coronavirus infection,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We are working furiously with our labor, state and federal partners to mitigate the financial cost to our small businesses and to workers in the City of Sacramento. I’m confident the calvary will come from many directions.”

Loans will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified applicants upon submission of all required information and supporting documents. Priority for these loans is for restaurants, retail business with store fronts and day care providers that demonstrate a clear hardship due to COVID-19. Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status may also apply. Approximately $250,000 of the total fund will be made available for micro businesses with five or fewer employees.

The funds may be used to cover the day-to-day operating expenses of the business such as payroll. Loans will be available with payments beginning 90 days after the emergency declaration is terminated.

“Our main goal is to provide support for our most significantly impacted small businesses to allow them to maintain their current employees,” said Assistant City Manager Michael Jasso. “As we move forward, we know that we will need to rely on all of our partners at the Federal, State, philanthropic, and institutional levels to come to the table with additional resources to help our business and non-profit community successfully weather this crisis.”

Businesses must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the loan, including:

  • For-profit, independently owned local business with up to 25 FTE and non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status may apply
  • Have no more than 25 full-time equivalent employees
  • Be a restaurant, retail, service, or entertainment business with a storefront; or a day care establishment
  • Have a physical establishment within the city of Sacramento (no home-based businesses with the exception of child-care businesses)
  • Have a demonstrated hardship due to COVID-19, such as a loss in revenue
  • Have written sick leave policies to assist workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Comply with the spirit of the City’s non-discrimination policy
  • Not include a business owner that has previously applied for a zero-interest loan under this program
  • Be in good standing with the City of Sacramento (e.g., current on bills, no liens or judgments, etc.)
  • Have a current City of Sacramento Business Operations Tax Certificate (BOTC) and have been in operation as of March 13, 2020

A small business hotline has been established to help businesses navigate the City’s loan program. City business owners may call 916-808-7196 and staff will return their call within one businesses day, depending on call volume.

Find full details on the application process here.

Other COVID-19 resources available to residents and businesses can be found here.