Some San Jose small businesses that owe back rent can apply for a rent relief starting March 1, according to the city.
The city of San Jose has set aside $2.75 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide up to 400 grants of up to $15,000 each to small businesses towards owners' outstanding COVID-related rent debt.
Business owners that own at least 51 percent of their company must submit a completed application, meet all program and federal requirements and provide documentation to be eligible for funding.
Businesses must be currently active, located in a commercial building within San Jose, have 10 or fewer full-time employees and owe 60 days or more of back rent as of Dec. 9, 2022, to qualify for grant eligibility.
Businesses can only apply if they were in business before March 24, 2020, and they must provide IRS tax returns from either 2020 or 2021 to confirm their annual gross receipts were below $3 million.
Home-based businesses, franchises, nonprofits and religious organizations will not be considered for the grants.
The Small Business Development Center, which administers the grant program on behalf of the city of San Jose, said the application portal for rent relief grants will stay open until funds are exhausted.
According to the SBDC, the program is not first come, first served. A lottery will be used to select grant awards after the application process has closed.
Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements and whose documents are in order will be placed in a pool of applications to be randomly selected as a "finalist."
Finalists will receive a grant up to $15,000 for unpaid rent if the grantee's landlord confirms the grantee's statements and accepts payment on the grantee's behalf.
Business owners can visit here to apply.
Heather Allen is a reporter with Bay City News.