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COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information and resources

Novato Small Business Relief Fund

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The City of Novato established the Small Business Relief Fund to help retain local jobs, keep storefronts tenanted, and support the local economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter in place orders.

On April 28, 2020, the Novato City Council approved the establishment of the Novato Small Business Relief Fund, as well as a $50,000 contribution from the City. This relief fund was designed in collaboration with our local partners, Novato Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Novato Business Association, County of Marin, MarinLink and Bank of Marin, to help small business owners impacted by COVID-19 stay afloat during this unprecedented time.

Qualified small businesses could apply for one-time grants in amounts up to $5,000 to utilize for business costs including rent or mortgage, payroll, utilities, insurance, loan payments related to running the business and any other documented cost of business operations. 

The application period closed on May 10, 2020 at 5pm. 

Support the Novato Small Business Relief Fund

The donation period closed on June 7, 2020 at 5pm. 

The City of Novato, the County of Marin, the Novato Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Novato Business Association, MarinLink and Bank of Marin wish to express our gratitude to all the donors who made this program possible. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply, businesses must:

  • Operate a for-profit or non-profit business with a physical storefront as the business owners/license holder within the City of Novato and hold a current, appropriate City of Novato business license;
  • Have more than 1 but fewer than 26 employees;
  • Must operate out of a physical, commercial storefront within City limits;
  • Demonstrate a loss of gross revenues of at least 50% in April 2020 vs. April 2019 as a result of COVID-19;
  • Demonstrate that immediate assistance is inadequate, unavailable or unlikely from other sources;
  • Have less than $1,000,000 in gross revenues in the prior fiscal year from operations within the City of Novato;
  • Be open for business, or intend to re-open upon lifting of the shelter-in-place order; and
  • Have been in operation for at least one year as of March 31, 2020

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • Businesses with no employees and those with over 25 employees as of March 1, 2020
  • Home-based businesses
  • Lending and investment institutions and insurance companies
  • Gambling facilities
  • Businesses with no physical storefront
  • Non-profit entities with no physical storefront
  • Businesses operating outside City limits
  • Franchise businesses that are not independently owned and operated within the City
  • Businesses without a valid City of Novato business license
  • Businesses engaged in any illegal activity per local, state or federal regulations
  • Subcontractors under a primary business license, such as in a salon

Some business owners who are or have been involved in legal or financial issues may not qualify. These include but are not limited to:

  • Bankruptcy, insolvency proceedings
  • Outstanding judgements, tax liens, pending lawsuits
  • Conviction of a criminal offense committed during and in connection with a declared disaster
  • Delinquency of federal tax payment or a federally regulated loan
  • Suspension or debarment from contracting with the federal government or receiving federal funds

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
What does the fund support/restrictions for the funds?
Who created the grant guidelines?
How and when were grants be allocated?
How much were the grants worth?
What made an application more likely to be approved?
How much money was available?
What if my small business didn't qualify for the relief fund?
Who was charged with fundraising?
How can the community donate?
Is the donation tax deductible?



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