Watsonville city council
Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—The application process for the City of Watsonville’s small business emergency grants opened today.

With help from El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, the city will offer roughly 50 grants of up to $2,000 to small businesses located within city limits with $2 million or less in annual gross revenue. Businesses who have received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the Small Business Administration do not qualify for this program.

The grants can be used to help with rent and/or utility payments dating back to March 15.

Applications can be submitted here and are due by 3pm on May 8. 

Businesses will be randomly selected to continue with the grant application process and document verification. 

Women entrepreneurs and minority business owners will be prioritized, city officials have said.

Applicants who are not selected in the first round of funding will be placed on a waiting list and may be eligible to receive funds if funding is available in the future.

The cash for the grants comes from the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a pool of federal funds that are used to benefit low- and moderate-income housing, prevent and eliminate blight or address urgent community needs.

Watsonville’s City Council at its April 28 meeting approved the use of more than half a million dollars in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and leftover CDBG funds to support the community through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The city gave $200,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County, $130,000 to El Pajaro CDC and $100,00 to the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. It will also use $25,187 to expand internet access for students attending classes from their homes during the shutdown.

For information on the small business grant application, email [email protected] or call 722-1224.

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Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor of The Pajaronian for five years and three years as Managing Editor. He is a Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus.


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