Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan that would spend about $1.5 billion of the state’s $75.7 billion surplus in grants of up to $25,000 to support small businesses, according to state officials this week.
The plan, which would bring the amount allocated in recent months for grants to $4 billion, is intended to help thousands in their post-pandemic economic-recovery efforts, which Newsom told business leaders would make it the largest state program of its kind in the country.
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce was among the voices advocating for more support for small businesses, including Newsom’s proposal, to help owners get back on their feet as soon as possible.
“The SCV Chamber will advocate to urge the state Legislature to approve the governor’s $1.5-billion proposal,” according to a message sent out by Peter Warda, vice president of Evolve Business Strategies, which represents the SCV Chamber of Commerce.
The funding announcement comes in addition to Newsom’s $6.2 billion tax cut for those businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, which state officials reported was the largest state tax cut of its kind in history.
“Our small businesses have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year, and we’re stepping up to meet the moment – making historic investments to provide businesses with the support they need and jumpstarting California’s economic recovery,” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “That’s why we’re implementing the largest small business relief program in the entire country, expanding the small business grant program to $4 billion and providing $6.2 billion in small business tax relief. This is money in the pockets of business owners to make payroll and cover the bills as we prepare to fully reopen California’s economy on June 15.”
Other efforts intended to support business recovery in California include:
- Estimated $895 million investment in the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which works to strengthen state programs that support financing of small businesses.
- Increasing the CalCompetes tax credit program to $360 million, and establishing a one-time $250 million grant program, to incentivize businesses to relocate to California.
- $250 million investment in California’s ports to address revenue loss and bolster future economic activity.
- $200 million to expand sales tax exclusions through the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to promote, grow and incentivize green manufacturing in California.
- $147 million for the Main Street Small Business Tax Credit to assist small businesses that have hired and retained workers since the second quarter of 2020.
- $95 million to jumpstart California’s tourism industry, one of the largest economic drivers in the state that was particularly impacted by the pandemic.