On Monday, the Pittsburg City Council agreed to allocate $250,000 of CARES Act funding to launch a city-sponsored COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant Program. The motion passed in a 5-0 vote.
According to the city, an estimated minimum of 25 grants would be awarded in values of up to $10,000 for businesses with a storefront in Pittsburg and between two and 50 employees to pay rent and utility bills. Businesses would be required to show a 25% revenue loss due to COVID-19, and comply with all regulatory guidelines, including COVID-related restrictions on operation.
Cannabis businesses, gas stations, liquor/convenience stores, smoke shops, and smoking lounges would not be eligible. Tenants of the City of Pittsburg, Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation (PACF), the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency, or other entity associated with the City would also not be eligible unless funds are to be used for storefronts not owned or managed by the City.
All applicants would be required to submit a confidential proposal noting how much is being requested and describing how funds will be spent. Partial awards may be issued at the discretion of the City, and if more than 25 qualifying applications are received, or if the total award is less than the total requested by all qualifying applicants, qualifying applicants will be entered into a lottery.
Wolfgang Croskey, Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce CEO, thanked the city for their effort.
“$250k will go a long way in the effort to help many of our businesses in Pittsburg,” stated Croskey. “I’ve personally met with many business owners who were in tears and some at very dark places contemplating some very fatal solutions. The Chamber of Commerce has done what we can to help and I have been a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board and a recipient of pure frustration from so many and think these funds will help, but there is more that needs to be done.”
Council Member Shanelle Scales-Preston fully supported the item.
“I am happy that more CARES Act funding came down so we can support our small business,” stated Scales-Preston.
Mayor Jelani Killings echoed comments made by Scales-Preston on the item.
“It is definitely needed to support our local businesses here in the community and looking forward to a successful implementation of the grant program. I look forward to the continued work,” said Killings. “More work to be done but I am happy this step is being taken to support our local businesses.”
Vice Mayor Merl Craft thanked the local businesses for “hanging in there” and appreciated them for choosing Pittsburg to do business. She also looked forward to other items that could come forward to assist and support local businesses.
The motion passed in a 5-0 vote.