CALIFORNIA —Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced Monday that the deadline for the first round of applications for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program has been extended.

The first round has been extended to 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 13 from Jan. 8. Details for the second round will be announced shortly.

On Nov. 30, Newsom and the state Legislature announced that $500 million was available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

“Inclusive, equitable relief is fundamental to the small business support developed by this administration,” CalOSBA Director Isabel Guzman said. “This grant program provides that support through a network of community development financial institutions and community-based organizations, ensuring reach to those highly impacted small businesses in disadvantaged communities, underserved small business groups, and industries disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.”

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Grants are not being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis but all will be reviewed, state officials said Monday.

So many businesses were trying to complete the application online that website traffic was high, and some businesses may have had trouble accessing the application, according to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Adjustments have been made to the website and the deadline extended so that everyone interested can apply, state officials said.

Help with the application process is available in multiple languages and formats. For more information on grant requirements and eligibility, please visit careliefgrant.com.

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This article originally appeared on the Lamorinda Patch

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