COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

Small Business Assistance Program

Published: 09/03/2020

Riverside Cares




According to the UCR Forecast 2019 Regional Intelligence Report, small businesses account for roughly 60% to 70% of all Riverside businesses.

Due to significant economic stress caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, City Council identified $3,615,521 in CARES Act funding from the City’s California Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) allocation for the creation of the Small Business Assistance Program.

Award Amounts

One-time grant of up to $10,000 with the flexibility to re-evaluate the funding cap based on demonstrated need during the funding period

Eligibility Period of Expenses:

Per the requirements of the CRF, all funding must be expended by December 30th 2020.

Application Period:

Applications will be accepted on a first received, first reviewed basis through October 1, 2020; subject to availability of funds.

Want free guidance?

The Inland Empire Small Business Development Center is ready to help 951-781-2345.


Download Program Overview Apply with Fillable/Printable PDF Apply Online

Descarga Resumen Del Programa Aplicar con PDF Rellenable / Imprimible Aplica En Linea



Eligibility for the Riverside Small Business Assistance Program is evaluated based on a businesses’ demonstrated need for financial support resulting from losses due to the impact of COVID-19 and associated mandatory State, County or local closures as well as the general qualifications identified herein.

General Qualifications

  • Must be a for-profit business within city limits, though owner residency is not required
  • Must have proof of a valid City of Riverside business license and be in good standing with the City (no liens or judgements unless demonstrated to be a direct COVID-19 impact)
  • Must adhere to federal guidance and the state’s stay-at-home requirements and other health requirements as directed in gubernatorial Executive Order N-33-20, subsequent executive orders or statutes, and all State Department of Public Health orders, directives, and guidance issued in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including by the Riverside County Department of Public Health
  • Must have between one (1) and fifty (50) employees as of March 1st, 2020
  • Recipients of county state or federal emergency funding, such as the SBA Economic Injury and Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), County of Riverside COVID-19 Business Grant, or City of Riverside Microenterprise Grant are eligible, but are requested to disclose receipt of such funding
  • Have no more than 10 million in annual revenue
  • Must have experienced mandatory shut down or substantial (and demonstratable) change in business operations. Voluntary shutdowns are ineligible.
  • City employees and elected and appointed officials are not eligible to participate in this program.>

Eligible Uses of Grant Funding

The Riverside Small Business Assistance Program is intended to cover fixed expenses specifically associated with losses and hardships endured during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This program is administered in alignment with U.S. Department of Treasury issued guidance. Each applicant will be required to sign and verify that funds will be spent on eligible business expenses as identified herein. Eligible expenses include but may not be limited to:

  • Inventory
  • Working capital (e.g. rent or mortgage, payroll)
  • PPE and other equipment to meet COVID-19 state opening guidelines
  • Rent, lease or purchase payments for business property (e.g., delivery vehicle; food truck; equipment, technology, payment, and communications systems and equipment)
  • Equipment or furnishings needed to take advantage of the City’s Outdoor Flex Space Permit Program
  • Restaurants with additional supporting documentation can recoup financial losses due to unexpected State mandated COVID-19 re-closure in Riverside County on July 1
  • Other business operational expenses and revenues that have been impacted by COVID-19 orders





The Small Business Assistance Program application requires specific information and documentation about the business necessary to determine eligibility. It also includes a Business Impact Statement, allowing businesses to provide information unique to their individual circumstances, including a list of reoccurring expenditures, that demonstrates 3 ongoing financial hardship.Examples of information that may be part of the narrative include, but are not limited to:

  • Losses due to forced shut down by the state or local government;
  • Significant revenue losses over the course of the State of Emergency as compared to the quarter prior to the start of the pandemic;
  • Necessity of laying off at least one of its employees (full- or part-time employee) since March 1, 2020;
  • Hardships due to one more of the employees contracting COVID-19 while at work.

Supporting Documents

Not all documents apply to all circumstances. Applicants will be advised on the appropriate supporting documentation based on information contained in the application.

  • Bank Statements through July 2020 showing pre and post COVID-19 revenue or;
  • Profit & Loss showing COVID related decrease
  • Merchant Statements
  • Inventory loss receipts and/or statements reflecting food loss from restaurants within the allowed timeframe
  • Evidence of cancelled appointments and/or contracts
  • Business Impact statement and Self-certification