Grants and resources for small businesses from local, state groups

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many business owners are at a crossroads, waiting to see if they can get grant money or if it's worth it to apply for loans to keep themselves going.

After more than three decades in business, Snowflake Designs owner LaDonna Snow finds herself in uncharted water.

"Because this has been my life's work. It didn't start out that way, but it's ending this way," said Snow.

Like many business owners, she's trying to find grants and help to keep her small staff going while her business inches along, making masks instead of gymnastics leotards.

"We are currently trying to apply for the state's $25,000 grant, and it's been a nightmare. They opened the grant on the 30th, and none of the links worked," Snow said.

The state is currently accepting applications for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Loans from $5,000 to $25,000 are being given out.

Various cities across the Valley like Clovis are trying to streamline the information.

They've emailed businesses to let them know about programs.

"They're critical to providing services to our residents, and they're critical to providing jobs to our residents," said Clovis Economic Development Director Andy Haussler.

Other communities like Fresno have a recovery revolving loan fund for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Cities are posting links to programs where business owners can apply.

Action News spoke with the Small Business Association of Fresno, and officials say there's help out there.

"On the SBA web page, there is a link to the local assistance button, and you can click on that to find the local resources partners that provide free support. technical assistance and consulting at no charge to business owners," said Dawn Golik, district director for SBA Fresno.

SBA officials say they're working on putting together loans and other programs.

Resource partners like SCORE are also hosting workshops.

As for Snow, she's still working on her grant application, which is due January 13. She sees the impact this ongoing pandemic is having on many businesses.

"Do they need keep fighting to keep their business alive or do they just fold?," Snow said about the crossroads many business owners are facing.

It's tough decisions during an uncertain time.

SCORE will also host a workshop on how to find a small business grant January 19.

For more information call: 559-487-5791.
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