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The application period for grants to small businesses and nonprofit groups in Santa Clara opened on Friday morning and had already received more than 250 requests by that afternoon, city officials said.

Up to $500,000 total is available in city grant funding in the form of $5,000 for an essential business or $10,000 for non-essential business, as defined by the Santa Clara County shelter in place order.

The grants will be awarded to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce is assisting the city’s effort through outreach, fundraising and aiding business owners with the application process.

Chamber President Nick Kaspar said:

“We are thankful to Mayor [Lisa] Gillmor for understanding that businesses are struggling and for her efforts to increase the fund.”

Pixabay Most businesses are shuttered during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kaspar said:

“As the local chamber, we want to ensure small business owners in our area understand the aid available to them and how they can apply to access those funds now. We are committed to assisting our community and supporting businesses experiencing hardship associated with Covid-19.”

The chamber said it also advocated for the city to include forgiveness for small businesses that applied for flexible bill payments from Silicon Valley Power.

Information on the relief fund and applying for a grant are online at SantaClaraCA.gov/SmallBusinessGrant.

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