Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program (Closes Mid-March)

The Healthy Refrigeration Grant is administered by the CA Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). It seeks to provide businesses and food donation programs with FREE energy-efficient refrigerators for eligible businesses and organizations in low-income and low-food access areas. The goal of the program is to help increase the accessibility of fresh, nutritious foods in low food-access and/or low-income areas.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be independently owned with 100 or fewer employees
  • Make less than $16M in annual revenue
  • Accept EBT/ SNAP/ CalFresh Benefits*

*This applies to businesses that sell food only, not a food bank or nonprofit that gives away food. If your business currently does not accept these forms of payment, you can apply for SNAP at the same time and still qualify for the refrigeration grant.

The grant program covers the cost of both display refrigeration equipment as well as equipment in the back of the business to help stock healthy foods to be prepared and sold, or to prepare food for display. There is no cap on equipment cost/grant requests and businesses can apply for more than one piece of equipment. CDFA classifies the following foods as “healthy” for the purposes of this program: vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, dairy products, minimally processed (including frozen, dried, smoked, fermented), and culturally appropriate foods grown in CA to the extent possible.

Special Conditions: refrigerators CANNOT be used for the sale of alcohol.

The California Green Business Network is an authorized partner of the CA Department of Food and Agriculture for the purposes of this grant program. CA Green Business Network will help businesses and organizations every step of the way! They will provide help with: the application, selecting the right equipment, connecting you to local produce and fresh food vendors, installation, advertising, and grant evaluation, they’ll even send you your first shipment of food (up to $250).

City of Salinas – Marketing & Technology Grant Program (Ongoing)

The Marketing & Technology Grant Program hosted by the City of Salinas is administered by the Community Development Department’s Economic Development Division. The program provides business owners with financial assistance in the form of a grant of up to $2,500 for business owners that want to improve their technology skills or promote their business in digital platforms. 

Eligibility Criteria (Mobile street vendors are not eligible):

  • Located in the Alisal Plan Area (Verify Here)
  • Have a current City of Salinas Business License (Verify Here)
    • Must have been in business for at least 6 months
  • Have current business registration information (If applicable)
    • Articles of Incorporation/ Organization & Statement of Information filed with CA Secretary of State (Verify Here)
    • Fictitious Business Name Statement filed with the County of Monterey (Verify Here)
  • Not have any pending City of Salinas code enforcement violations

The business owner must complete their training requirement with one of the training service providers approved by the City of Salinas. (View Full List)

Eligible Expense Categories:

Social Media Marketing Assistance

Financial Literacy Tech Assistance

Computer Literacy Tech Assistance


City-Wide Business Façade Improvement Grant (Ongoing)

The Business Façade Improvement Grant is administered by the City of Soledad’s Community Development Department. The program provides financial assistance (up to $25,000) to property owners and business owners to improve the exterior appearance of existing buildings and property. This is to help generate shopping and tourism by creating a pleasant walking environment via improvements in design, color schemes, and building façades. 


Properties and businesses must be located within the following Commercial District areas:

  • C-R: Commercial Residential District
  • C-C: Community Residential District
  • C-1: Retail Central Business District*
  • C-2: General Commercial District
  • H-C: Highway Commercial

*Priority will be given to the Downtown Commercial District (C-1).

**Owners of multiple businesses may apply for up to 2 business locations.

Improvements Covered:

Exterior painting and paint removal, replacement/repair of existing signs, replacement of windows and window frames, replacement/repair of doors and transoms, cosmetic improvements to window treatments (including but not limited to flower boxes, gingerbreads, fascia boards, and moldings), awnings, repairs to exterior surfaces, dormers, design enhancements and beautification, historical restoration, commercial outdoor dining area, commercial outdoor dining furniture sets or bistro sets. 




California Microbusiness Covid-19 Relief Grant Program

The California Microbusiness Covid-19 Relief Grant Program is administered via a partnership between the Monterey County Workforce Development Board (MCWDB) and the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). MCWDB is the sole representative for the grant program in Monterey County. The grant seeks to support small businesses facing financial impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic in the form of financial assistance.


  • Made less than $50,000 in revenues in 2019
  • Currently have 5 or less full-time employees and had 5 or less full time employees int he 2019 and 2020 taxable years
  • Were established and in operation prior to December 31, 2019
  • Owned, operated, and headquartered in Monterey County
  • Are currently open or have a reopening plan
  • Experienced a reduction of revenue of at least 10% or more from the 2019 and 2020 taxable years
  • Did not receive a grant under the California Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant Program

Childcare and Development Infrastructure Grant

The Childcare and Development Infrastructure Grant is administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Many families in California do not have access to nurturing early learning environments due to a lack of childcare facilities in their neighborhood. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem. The purpose of the grant is to preserve, enhance, and expand child care and development and preschool opportunities for children up to five years of age by providing funds to renovate, repair, modernize, retrofit, or build new licensed child care centers and family child care homes (collectively referred to as “child care facilities”).


  • Child care facility serving children through an alternative payment program under WIC Chapter 3 (commencing with section 10225)
  • Migrant child care and development program serving children under WIC Chapter 6 (starting with section 10235)
  • Child care facility network serving children through a California state preschool program under Article 2 (commencing with section 8207) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code
  • Child care facility serving children through a general childcare and development program under WIC Chapter 7 9starting with section 10240)
  • Family child care home education network serving children under WIC Chapter 8 (starting with section 10250)
  • Child care and development services for children with special needs under WIC Chapter 9 (starting with section 10260)
  • Child care facility serving children through a California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Stage 1, Stage 2, or Stage 3 program under WIC Chapter 21 (starting with section 10370)
  • Child care facility serving children through the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children under WIC section 11464.6

Note: providers meeting the criteria above must meet an additional set of pre-requisites. For the full list of criteria, click here. (Pages 3 – 4)


California Venues Grant – Round 2

The California Venues Grant Program is administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. Lendistry is the sole entity designated as an intermediary of the California Venues Grant Program. The linked website is the ONLY approved website for the grant program. The purpose of the program is to support eligible independent live events venues that have been affected by Covid-19 in order to support their continued operation.

Businesses and non-profits can apply to receive up to $250,000 or 20% of the applicant’s gross revenue for the 2019 taxable year. The second round of funding has expanded the eligibility categories to include 5 new business types. There are also lower revenue loss requirements, now requiring loss greater than 30% of gross revenue compared to 70% previously. 

For the purposes of this program, “eligible venue” means a venue with the following characteristics:

  • A defined performance and audience space.
  • Mixing equipment, a public address system, and a lighting rig.
  • Engages one or more individuals to carry out not less than two of the following roles: A sound engineer, a booker, a promoter, a stage manager, security personnel, a box office manager
  • Is one of the three highest revenue-grossing entities, locations, or franchises associated with the applicant.
  • For a venue owned or operated by a nonprofit entity that produces free events, the events are produced and managed primarily by paid employees, not by volunteers.


Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund (Ongoing)


The Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund (CCRLF) is administered by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank). The program’s purpose is to provide low-cost and low-interest financing for small and medium sized businesses to acquire and implement critical climate solutions. This further mobilizes public and private financing for shovel-ready projects as well as accelerating the rate at which these climate solutions are deployed at scale.

Eligible Projects:

Forest Biomass Management and Utilization

  • Sustainable Vegetation Management
  • Forestry Practices
  • Timber harvesting products such as advanced energy and construction materials

Climate-Smart Agriculture

  • On-farm food processing renewable energy, including electricity, fuels, and bioenergy
  • Energy, water, and materials efficiency
  • Methane reduction projects that use best practice approaches consistent with state policy goals
  • Energy storage or microgrids
  • Equipment replacements 

Clean Energy Transmission

  • Clean energy transmission project infrastructure
  • Other necessary technical elements of transmission infrastructure, such as environmental planning, permitting, and preconstruction costs for projects

El Pajaro CDC MicroLoan Program (Ongoing)

El Pajaro CDC Microloan Program is administered by El Pajaro Community Development Corporation (CDC). The program seeks to provide entrepreneurs* and existing small businesses with access to the capital needed to help make them successful through low-cost and low-interest financing options. 

*Entrepreneurs are required to successfully complete the Empresari@ training program and/or receive individualized business planning technical assistance to be eligible for funding.

MicroLoan Programs:

Job Creation Microloan

  • Must result in craetion of new jobs or reinstatement of jobs lost due to Covid-19
  • 5.75% interest, 3% origination fee, approximately $35 in closing costs, and up to 5-year terms

Fondo Alisal Microloan

  • Business must be based in the City of Salinas
  • 6-9% interest, 3% origination fee, approximately $35 in closing costs, up to 4-year terms

Rural Business Microloan

  • Business must be based in HUD-designated rural areas within Monterey**, Santa Cruz, or San Benito Counties
  • 0% interest, no origination fee, approximately $35 in closing costs, up to 3-year terms

**Excludes incorporated cities along the Monterey Peninsula and the City of Salinas

Contact El Pajaro CDC for the full list of eligibility requirements, call (831) 722-1224 or email them at 

Monterey County Revolving Loan Fund (Ongoing)

The Monterey County Revolving Loan Fund is administered by Cal Coastal Rural Development Corporation (RDC). It seeks to bridge the access to capital gap by establishing a revolving loan fund for small to medium sized businesses located in Monterey County. 

Eligible Use of Funds: 

Inventory, furniture & fixtures, leasehold improvements, equipment, working capital, or business acquisition.

Special Conditions:

Must result in the retention or creation of a job per $20,000 borrowed

Fees & Terms:

  • $200 Application Fee
  • 2% Origination Fee + Closing Costs
  • Interest Rate: Prime + 3%




GetVirtual – Cal State Monterey Bay (Ongoing)

GetVirtual at Cal State Monterey Bay is a program hosted and administered by the Institute for Innovation & Economic Development at Cal State Monterey Bay. The program seeks to help businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting the digital needs of businesses to help them build their business in the digital world. The program connects students from Cal State Monterey Bay’s College of Business with local businesses that need support. Businesses can register for services by clicking here

Services Provided

  • Website Development (or redesign): Students will help with creating or revamping a business’ website with Wix or Squarespace. Website plug-ins will also be implemented to extend the capabilities of the website.
  • E-Commerce: Students will assist with registration and onboarding of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Stripe, and Square along with delivery services. 
  • Online Marketing: Students will assist with the development and implementation of SEO, SEM, email, and social media campaigns
  • Business Training: Students help train the business to maintain and grow their new/revamped online platforms

Note: Services are free but businesses pick up the software and other hard costs.


ABC License Renewal Fee Waivers (Ongoing)

ABC License Renewal Fee Waivers are administered by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The fee waivers seek to provide businesses heavily impacted by public health and safety restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These waivers can results in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in savings for businesses. 

Eligibility Requirements

  1. The following license types are eligible: 02[1]*^, 23, duplicate 23, 40, 41, 42, 47, duplicate 47, 48, duplicate 48, 49, duplicate 49, 50, 51, 52, 57, duplicate 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 68, 69, 71, duplicate 71, 72, duplicate 72, 74, 75, duplicate 75, 76, duplicate 76, 77, 78, duplicate 78, 83, 86, 87, duplicate 87, 99; and
  2. The license was active from March 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020; and
  3. The licensed premises’ primary operation was disrupted by health and safety restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

*For 02 licensees only: Produced less than 100,000 gallons of wine in fiscal year 2020-2021, and will submit the accurate production volume on the winegrowers annual report.

^Duplicate 02 licenses are not eligible for fee relief.

How to Apply

  1. License Search: Visit the ABC License Renewal Waiver web page and enter your license number upon receiving your Renewal Notice in the mail (approx. 60 days prior to expiration). (Click Here)
  2. Verify Eligibility: Upon entering your license number in the License Search bar, your license will be screened for eligibility. The system will let you know whether you are eligible based on license type and any outstanding payments to ABC.
  3. Submit Waiver: If you have no outstanding balance with ABC, you will be able to submit your waiver online. However, if you do have an outstanding balance with ABC, you must submit it via mail along with the balance due in order to have the waiver applied.

Note: You must apply for the ABC License Fee Waiver individually for each license for both years that the fee waiver is in effect (2022 and 2023). 


The Supplier Clearinghouse (Ongoing)

Diversity Certifications are issued and administered by The Supplier Clearinghouse (TSC). TSC activities are governed by General Order 156 of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and The Supplier Clearinghouse Eligibility Standards. Acquiring a diversity certifications opens the opportunity for businesses to participate in a range of business activities including set-aside government contracts. 

At all levels of government, there are set-aside contracts specifically for various historically underserved groups. Set-aside contracts usually make up 5-10% of all government contract. Only businesses belonging to the specific group classification mentioned in the contract may be eligible for those contracts. Government contracts can serve as an additional revenue source for your business, or your could specialize your business model to solely serve government contracts. 

Types of Certifications

Woman-Owned (WBE)


Disabled Veteran-Owned (DVBE)

Persons with Disabilities-Owned (PDBE)

For assistance with government contracts, please contact our sister organization Monterey Bay PTAC. Monterey Bay PTAC offers FREE technical and procurement assistance with government contracts.



Employee Retention Tax Credit (Ongoing)

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) is a refundable payroll tax credit designed to support businesses that retained their employees through the Covid-19 pandemic. The program offers up to $26,000 per employee in tax credits for 2020 and 2021. The ERC is authorized by the CARES Act (2020) and was later expanded to help more businesses. 

Applying for ERC can be confusing, that’s by Building Business Back (BBB) has partnered with the William & Stephanie Foundation (WSF). WSF has a record of successfully helping businesses with financial matters. Through our joint collaboration, BBB and WSF have facilitated the application process for businesses down to the provision of only 3 documents.

Required Documents

  1. Quarterly Profit & Loss Statements from 1st Quarter of 2019 through 3rd Quarter of 2021.
  2. Payroll Records for 2020 and 2021 (Family members do not qualify, please make note of any employees that are family members or owners in your payroll records)
  3. Tax Form 941 from the 1st Quarter of 2019 through the 3rd Quarter of 2021


To qualify for ERC, your business must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Your business experienced a partial or complete suspension of operations
  2. Your business experienced a significant reduction in revenue during any quarter of 2020 or 2021 as compared to 2019
  3. You started a business on or after February 12, 2020

For more information about ERC, please visit our resource page for ERC. Click here.

California Competes Tax Credit (Closes January 23, 2023)

The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) is administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). CCTC provides an income tax credit for businesses that want to relocate or grow their business in California. The tax credit seeks to incentivize the creation of new full-time jobs that might not otherwise be created by the business or any other business. Notably, preference is given to businesses that created full-time jobs in areas of high poverty and/or high unemployment.

Application Periods: 

July 25, 2022 – August 15, 2022 ($85M available)

January 2, 2023 – January 23, 2023 ($120M available)

March 6, 2023 – March 20, 2023 ($99.7M plus any remaining unallocated funds)

GO-Biz is hosting several informational sessions online for those interested in applying for Round 2 of CCTC. 

Informational Sessions: 

January 4, 2023 (9:30 AM – 12:30 AM PST)

January 12, 2023 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM PST)

January 17, 2023 (11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST)

To view the Frequently Asked Questions page, click here

To view GO-Biz’s PowerPoint slides, click here

To view the application guide, click here




Work Opportunity Tax Credit (Ongoing)

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is jointly administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL). The WOTC may be claimed by employers to hire individuals who are certified by a designated local agency as being a member of one of 10 targeted groups. The WOTC is a wage-based tax credit that can be claimed in addition to other wage-based tax credits such as the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

Targeted Groups (for WOTC purposes)

Qualified IV-A Recipient, qualified veteran, qualified ex-felon, designated community resident (DCR), vocational rehabilitation referral, qualified summer youth employee, qualified Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits recipient, qualified Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, long-term disability recipient, and qualified long-term unemployment recipients. 

The WOTC is equal to 40% of up to $6,000 of wages paid to, or incurred on behalf of, an individual who: is in their first year of employment, is certified as being a member of a targeted group, and performs at least 400 hours of services for that employer. 

Generally, the maximum WOTC that can be claimed is $2,400. The rate changes from 40% to 25% for wages of individuals who perform less than 400 but at least 120 hours of service for the employer. Notably, employers can claim up to $24,000 in wages for certain qualified veterans. Employers can claim WOTC retroactively for 1 fiscal year and forward 20 years. 

Taxable v. Tax-Exempt Employers

Taxable employers claim the WOTC against income taxes while tax-exempt employers claim the WOTC against payroll taxes AND ONLY for wages paid to members of the qualified veteran targeted group.



Tax Relief

Tax relief programs are administered by a myriad of pertinent taxing bodies at the County, State, and Federal level. When applying for tax relief, it is important to note two things: 1) there is usually a filing deadline to claim tax relief, 2) make sure you are contacting the correct agency for the corresponding type of tax relief. 

Federal Tax Relief

  • IRS Tax Filing Extension: Businesses located in counties within FEMA Emergency Declaration DR-4683-CA are eligible to have their tax filing date extended to May 15, 2023. For help with the IRS Tax Filing Extension, contact: (866) 562-5227.
  • IRS Disaster Relief: IRS disaster relief can be claimed by businesses located in counties located in a FEMA Emergency Declaration zone. Disaster relief includes: casualty relief, disaster relief, and theft loss relief. For assistance with IRS disaster relief programs, please contact the IRS disaster hotline: (866) 562-5227.

State Tax Relief

  • California Board of Equalization: The Board of Equalization provides assistance with Sales and Use Tax Relief, Property Damage Tax Relief, and other special taxes. For assistance with CA Board of Equalization relief programs, contact their office at: (800) 400-7115.
  • California Franchise Tax Board: The Franchise Tax Board is providing a disaster loss deduction on State taxes. Businesses can receive more information on how to claim a State Tax Deduction by clicking here, the FTB will send you information directly on how to claim the deduction. Additionally, businesses are able to stop interest accrual on taxes owed by completing a Request for Abatement of Interests (FTB 3701). For instructions on how to file FTB 3701, click here. For assistance with Franchise Tax Board relief programs, please contact: (800) 852-5711.

County Tax Relief

Emergency Resources for Farmers

The United States Department of Agriculture hosts a variety of programs with its pertinent agencies designed to help the agriculture industry to be resilient through adverse weather events and natural disasters. The following are some of the programs Building Business Back has identified for the agriculture community.

Disaster Set-Aside Program: Provides Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrowers with the set-aside of one scheduled payment to any FSA debt to allow the operation to continue. To view the Disaster Set-Aside Program factsheet, click here.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): EQIP is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements on the land. Improvements will decrease and prevent excessive soil erosion caused or impacted by natural disasters. To view the EQIP fact sheet, click here.

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, & Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP): Provides financial assistance to eligible producers for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions. The program supplements losses not covered by the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Livestock Indemnity Program. To view the general ELAP factsheet, click here. To view the Livestock ELAP factsheet, click here. To view the Honeybee ELAP factsheet, click here. To view the Farm-Raised Fish ELAP factsheet, click here

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): Provides funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to restore farmland damaged by natural disasters and for emergency water conservations measures in severe droughts. To view the ECP fact sheet, click here

Emergency Loan Program: Provides emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine. To view the Emergency Loan Program factsheet, click here.

Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP): Provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) land in order to carry our emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. To view the EFRP fact sheet, click here.

Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP-Recovery): EWP-Recovery is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program offers local communities options to reduce hazards to life and property caused by floodwaters, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, windstorms, and other natural disasters. Projects can address erosion related watershed impairments by removing debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges; reshaping and protecting eroded banks; correcting damaged drainage facilities, repairing levees and structures; and reseeding damaged areas. To view the EWP-Recovery fact sheet, click here

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP): Provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters resulting in lower yields or crop losses, or prevents crop planting. To view the NAP factsheet, click here

Tree Assistance Program (TAP): Provides financial assistance to orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes, and vines lost due to natural disasters. To view the TAP factsheet, click here