San Bernardino County has expanded eligibility for participation in its COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program, while extending the application deadline to Oct. 31.
Among the organizations that can now apply to the program are non-profits; sole proprietors whose business features a corresponding retail space or storefront; and home-based businesses (including home daycare centers) that directly serve customers at their home. (Short-term rentals may also now participate, though at a lower level of funding.)
The county has further modified the program to support small businesses and nonprofits that have incurred expenses moving their operations outdoors. In addition to the original $2,500 provided to participants, the county is now offering $1,200 per business to restaurants and retail stores that have been forced to move outdoors in response to state regulations, such as stores located inside indoor malls, as well as churches, fitness facilities and service businesses.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting our businesses through this national health crisis. We recognize that operating safely entails additional expense and we are doing what we can to help offset some of those expenses,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We also are strongly encouraging our residents to support those businesses that are working to maintain a safe and healthy environment.”
The county launched its COVID Compliant Business Partnership Program in May to support local small businesses while ensuring ongoing compliance with state and county health orders and direction.
The program has two primary components: funding of $2,500 for eligible small businesses with one to 100 employees, plus support and partnership for all eligible county businesses that want to become a COVID Compliant Business Partner. Total program funding available is $30 million. To receive funds, small businesses in the county must first demonstrate compliance with State and County public health orders and incorporate safety and social distancing practices in their daily operations.
Since the program’s launch, the county has approved applications from more than 4,000 businesses and awarded more than $10 million to reimburse and/or offset costs directly related to compliance with COVID-19-related business protocols.
Once it has been determined that a company is a COVID-Compliant Business Partner, it is issued a “This Business Partner is COVID Compliant” window graphic (designed for public display) that recognizes the business for its commitment to public health and safety. Businesses also gain exclusive access to receive personal protective equipment (PPE) at the county’s wholesale cost.
For more information about eligibility and to apply, go to https://sbcovid19.com/covid-compliant-business-partnership-program/.