Fountain Valley Community Development Block Grant Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program

The City of Fountain Valley has created the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Emergency Assistance (SBEA) Grant Program, which will provide funding to low-income small business owners needing financial assistance in overcoming economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is based on the availability of funds, program guidelines, and submission of all required information and supporting documentation.

Small businesses with less than 25 full-time employees may be eligible to receive a working capital grant of up to $10,000. The grant may be used for working capital to cover the day-to-day business operating expenses such as rent, lease or mortgage payments, payroll, utility expenses, or other similar expenses. Funds may also be used toward the cost of obtaining, or reimbursement for, personal protective equipment or devices intended to enhance the safety of the business, staff, and customers in response to COVID-19. All grant funds must be used to prepare for, prevent, or respond to COVID-19 and documentation will be required in order to receive funding.

The grant application will open on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 9 a.m. and close on Monday, May 17, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Before applying, watch the webinar recording here to learn more about the program and eligibility.

Application/Documentation Requirements

The following documents must be submitted for consideration of a grant request:

  • Complete grant application;
  • Business bank account number;
  • W-9;
  • Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet from 2020 for business or 2020 tax returns, or 2019 if 2020 have not been filed;
  • Employee list as of April 1, 2021; and
  • Current business license dated prior to March 1, 2020.

Note: Additional documents may be required

To be eligible to apply for the SBEA Grant Program, a business must meet certain criteria that has been established by the CARES Act, CDBG-CV regulations and the City of Fountain Valley. All approved grantees must be the three qualifying requirements as listed below:

1) Business must have been affected by COVID-19.

The business applicant must provide documentation that their business has been affected by COVID-19 in one of the following ways:

  • Sales from the business is down more than 25% compared with 2019 or 2020 for the same time period (i.e. March and April 2019 (or 2020) vs. March and April 2021); or
  • The business has had to lay off at least one of its employees (full or part-time); or
  • One or more of the employees in the business have contracted COVID-19, while at work; or
  • The business was deemed non-essential and was/is forced to shut down.

2) Business Owner’s gross household income must meet HUD’s low-mod income limits

Under federal regulations, use of CDBG funds must meet certain national objectives to benefit persons of low- and moderate-income (low-mod). For the purposes of this program, the applicant must meet the following low-mod criteria to be considered for grant funding by providing documentation proving the following income level prior to receiving a business assistance grant:

The business owner’s current gross household income is at or below 80% of the Orange County median income, adjusted for household size as shown in the table below.

MAXIMUM Household – GROSS Income Limits as of April 2, 2021

1 person

2 person

3 person

4 person

5 person

6 person

7 person

8 person









Gross Income includes: All gross income (before any deductions) for persons 18 years of age and older including but not limited to, wages, bonuses, unemployment, social security, pensions, disability, child support, alimony, asset income from retirement accounts, checking accounts, savings account, CDs, stocks, bonds, etc.

3) General Terms and Conditions

The business applicant must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for grant funding:

  • Submit applications during open period between Monday, May 3, 2021 at 9 a.m. and Monday, May 17, 2021 at 5 p.m.;
  • Funds must be used to prevent, prepare for, or respond to COVID-19;
  • The business must be a for profit business;
  • The business must be located in Fountain Valley within a commercial or industrial zone. No home businesses;
  • The business must have an active Fountain Valley business license for a minimum of six (6) months;
  • The business must have 25 or fewer employees, including the owner;
  • The business must submit the application and all required supporting documentation;
  • The business did not receive funding from the City’s COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Employee Retention Grant, City’s Small Business Emergency Relief Grant in June 2020 or February 2021, and District 1 Grant Program; and
  • Business has not received duplicate benefits from any other source;
  • Maximum grant funding is $10,000.

Eligible Use of Funds-Costs must be incurred due to COVID-19

  • Payroll/employee retention or supporting employees whose work duties are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to COVID-19;
  • Inventory and working capital;
  • Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment;
  • Purchase of equipment to enhance safety of staff and customers;
  • Rent or mortgage payments;
  • Addressing temporary COVID-19 related restrictions on business activity;
  • Increasing technology capacity to enable alternative work forms;
  • Creating new marketing campaigns or business plans;
  • Paying vendor invoices;
  • Facility cleaning/restoration; or
  • Other Grantor approved uses.

The U.S. Department of Treasury has issued guidance on the use of funds and the following is a nonexclusive list of expenditures that shall NOT constitute Eligible Expenses payable from the awarded amount:

  • Damages covered by insurance.
  • Payroll or benefits expenses for employees whose work duties are not substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any federal program, such as the reimbursement by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act of contributions by States to State unemployment funds
  • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.
  • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime.
  • Severance pay.
  • Legal settlements.
  • Non-Profit or public entities;
  • Home based businesses;
  • Businesses with more than 25 employees (FTE);
  • New/Startup Businesses (with less than six month of operating history as of June 1, 2020);
  • Residential or real estate projects including short-term rental operators;
  • Adult-entertainment related businesses; or
  • Cannabis related businesses