Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program

Introducing the Fremont Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for small businesses in Fremont. As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the City of Fremont has become the recipient of additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and with this allocation it is launching a $400,000 grant program to support small businesses in this time of need.

Grants are valued at $5,000 or $10,000 based on the number of people employed at the time of the initial Shelter-in-Place Order was issued on March 17, 2020 by the Alameda County Health Officer. Selected businesses with 10 or fewer employees will be awarded $5,000 while selected businesses with 11-50 employees will be awarded $10,000.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for the Fremont Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a for-profit business.
  • Have demonstrable financial impact stemming from COVID-19 response. 
  • Been in business for at least one (1) year.
  • Have a physical storefront or place of business in a commercial-designated facility in Fremont (home-based businesses do not qualify).
  • Had between 2 and 50 employees on payroll (full or part-time) at the time the initial Alameda County Shelter-in-Place Order was issued on March 16 by the Alameda County Health Officer. 
  • Gross sales under $8 million over last 12 months. 
  • No more than 3 locations in Alameda County.
  • Valid business tax certificate (expiration after December, 31, 2019 is OK in accordance with the City’s COVID-19 Business Tax Relief Ordinance)

In order to comply with CDBG requirements, business must commit to retaining at least one employee from a low-moderate income household, defined as 80% or below Area Median Income (AMI). At least one employee must be from a household that meets the below criteria:

Household Size

80% of Area Median Income

1

$69,000

2

$78,850

3

$88,700

4

$98,550

5

$106,450

6

$114,350

7

$122,250

8

$130,100

How to Apply

The application period will open on Monday, May 18, 2020 and close on May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

If you believe your business may be eligible, please fill out an application online through SurveyMonkey. (Note: The SurveyMonkey application website will be down for scheduled maintenance on Saturday, May 23, 2020 from approximately 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.)

For questions on the application, including language assistance, please call 510-284-4020 or send an email.

Evaluation Criteria

Businesses will be selected based on the below evaluation criteria. Each criterion is worth one (1) point:

  • Non-Essential Designation: businesses in an industry designated as non-essential based on the Alameda County’s extended Shelter at Home Order. This includes dine-in restaurants. 
  • Job Creation/Preservation: business has laid off employee(s) or will imminently.
  • Nature of Business: business involves assembly or personal contact by its nature. 
  • Ownership Status: business is veteran, woman, or minority-owned.
  • Other Funding: business has applied for other financial assistance such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) can provide documentation.

At the end of the application period, grant applications will be ranked based on their scoring from the above criteria. In cases where there are more businesses with the same score than can be awarded, the City will give priority based on the length of time a business has been in Fremont (determined by business tax record).

Selected businesses will be notified to begin the follow-up documentation and grant agreement process. Remaining businesses will be placed on waitlist and notified if more funding becomes available. Regardless of whether or not your business meets all the above criteria, we strongly encourage all eligible Fremont businesses to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

  • How much money is the grant award?
    $5,000 for businesses with 2-10 employees and $10,000 for businesses that 11-50 employees, respectively, on payroll as of March 17, 2020.

  • What can the grant award be used for?
    Grants can be used as general working capital for businesses that can be applied to payroll, rent, utilities, or implementing COVID-19 social distancing. Grants cannot be used for refinancing debt.

  • What are the eligibility requirements?
    Due to the federal requirements, business must retain at least one employee from a low-moderate income household (80% or below AMI).
    • Demonstrable financial impact stemming from COVID-19 response.
    • Be a for-profit business.
    • Been in business for at least one (1) year.
    • Physical storefront or place of business in a commercial-designated facility in Fremont (home-based businesses do not qualify).
    • Between 2 and 50 employees on payroll (full or part-time) at time of initial Alameda County Shelter-in-Place Order issued on March 17, 2020 by the Alameda County Health Officer.
    • Gross Receipts under $8 million over last 12 months.
    • Have a business lease/mortgage obligation.
    • No more than 3 locations in Alameda County.
    • Valid Business Tax certificate (expiration after January 1, 2020 is OK)
  • How do I know if I meet the low-moderate income household requirements for the employee I retain?Due to federal requirements, the employee’s household must be at or below 80% of median area income. For Fremont those household incomes are below:

Household Size

80% of Area Median Income

1

$69,000

2

$78,850

3

$88,700

4

$98,550

5

$106,450

6

$114,350

7

$122,250

8

$130,100


  • Can I qualify if I will rehire an employee from a low-moderate income household that I laid off after March 17, 2020?
    You can qualify, but you will need to have hired the employee back and have them on payroll before your qualification can be confirmed. This does not need to happen by the application deadline, but will need to occur shortly after. If you intend to qualify in this way please send an email to discuss your specific circumstances.
  • Is this application first come, first served? Do I need to apply early to have a chance of getting an award?
    No! All applications will be evaluated together at the end of the 2-week application window using the below criteria. As long as you submit a fully filled out application by May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm your application will be considered.

  • Can I apply if I have also applied for other sources of funding such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)?
    You can still apply and are encouraged to apply. This grant can fill any additional gap between the assistance you receive and the impacts you have suffered from COVID-19. If you receive outside assistance after applying and receive more funding than the gap of your impact you will need to immediately notify the City and work out a repayment plan for the grant.

  • How are applications being evaluated?
    Funds will not be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; rather, businesses will be selected based on the below evaluation criteria:
    • Non-Essential Designation. Businesses unable to operate due to Shelter in Place.
    • Job Preservation. Business has laid off employee(s) or will imminently.
    • Nature of Business. Business involves assembly or personal contact by its nature.
    • Ownership Status. Business is veteran, woman, or minority owned.
    • Other Funding. Business has applied for other financial assistance such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Each criterion is worth 1 point. In cases where there are more businesses with the same score than can be awarded, tie-breaker is length of time in business in Fremont (determined by business tax history).

  • What information do I need to provide on the application?
    • Basic business information (contact info, address, etc.,)
    • Other forms of assistance you have applied for
    • Estimated gross receipts (total sales) over the past 12 months from all your business locations (NOTE: follow-up documentation will be required if your business is selected).
    • Estimate of fixed monthly expenses
    • Estimate of variable monthly expenses
    • Estimated pre-COVID-19 revenue
    • Estimated April 2020 revenue

Additional Information

Have further questions? Please contact our business hotline at 510-284-4020 or send an email.

Read the Press Release

May 18, 2020City of Fremont Announces Relief Package for Renters and Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19