City of San Bernardino
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
Grant Program

San Bernardino American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Grant Program

Small Business + Non-Profit Training & Grant Program

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) initiative, the City of San Bernardino has partnered with the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to offer the Small Business & Non-Profit Training & Grant Program. The Training & Grant Program will provide training and funding to small businesses and non-profits needing financial assistance in overcoming the loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible businesses and non-profits are invited to apply. Businesses or non-profits which have previously received alternative sources of funding such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan, State, or County of San Bernardino grants are eligible to apply. The program is based on the availability of funds, program guidelines and submission of all required information and supporting documentation. Small businesses, including home-based businesses, with a maximum of five hundred (500) employees (full and part-time) and non-profits including 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 with a principal office located within the City of San Bernardino and operating since at least July 2019 may be eligible to receive a working capital grant after attending mandatory training sessions for a full SBDC program (approximately 10 hours) and one (1) mandatory one-on-one consulting session. The grant may be used for working capital to cover the day-to-day business operating expenses such as rent/lease payments, mortgage payments, payroll and benefit costs, utility expenses, inventory, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations.

Application Period

The business and non-profit grant application will be available in English and Spanish starting at 9:00 am on Monday, October 10, 2022. Applicants must apply for the grant program by visiting and submitting the application online through the SBDC portal. 

Applications from small businesses must be submitted online and will be accepted starting at 9:00 am, Monday, October 10, 2022, with first-come, first-serve priority until Monday, December 12, 2022.

Applications from non-profits must be submitted online and will be accepted starting at 9:00 am, Monday, October 10, 2022, with first-come, first-serve priority until Monday, November 21, 2022.

If funding is undersubscribed for non-profit awards, on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, any additional funds will roll into small business allocations with priority given to applicants already on the alternate funding list. The application period will close promptly at 5:00 pm on Monday, December 12, 2022.  Applications received online after this due date and time will be considered late and will not be accepted.


Please complete the entirety of the application and ensure all of your information is correct. If required fields are not complete you will receive an error notice which will not allow you to submit the application. For best results, we recommend using the following browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox. After submitting your application, you will receive an email confirmation.

For Profit – $10,000 – $35,000

ELIGIBLE BUSINESS GROSS REVENUE (2019, 2020, or 2021 taxable year)


Annual gross revenue $50,000 to $100,000


Annual gross revenue greater than $100,000 up to $1,000,000


Annual gross revenue greater than $1,000,000 up to $2,500,000



Non-Profit – $10,000 – $35,000

ELIGIBLE NON-PROFIT GROSS REVENUE (2019, 2020, or 2021 taxable year)


Annual gross revenue greater than $100,000 up to $250,000


Annual gross revenue greater than $250,000 up to $500,000


Annual gross revenue greater than $500,000 up to $1,000,000


Annual gross revenue greater than $1,000,000


Program Description

The Training & Grant Program, under SBDC’s leadership and training, is aimed at assisting small businesses and non-profits with driving their organizations to the next level.  During the training period, business owners will work on putting together their path toward growth as they evaluate and develop their metrics, benchmarks, teams, financials, triggers, and strategies to reach the next level of growth. Trainees will learn how to de-risk expansion and get involved in proactive growth.

The biggest obstacles in growing a business include:

  • Intelligent Planning
  • Cash
  • People
  • Customers

Categories of growth include:

  • New Revenue Streams
  • Entering New Market Segments/Expanding Customer Base
  • Expanding Team
  • Acquiring New Technology/Equipment
  • Adding Strategic Partners
  • New/Additional Location
  • Mergers and Acquisitions


Program Structure
  • Completion of one (1) mandatory SBDC training program within ninety (90) days of application submission in the SBDC portal. In the event an applicant misses one of the mandatory training sessions, they can make it up by scheduling an additional 1:1 consultation meeting with their SBDC consultant. If an applicant misses two (2) or more mandatory training sessions, they will not be eligible to receive the grant.
  • One (1) mandatory 1:1 consultation meeting with a SBDC consultant in between cohort meetings/sessions


Program Outline

SBDC training programs include the following courses, all with a focus on building growth strategies:


California Shop Small

California Shop Small is a 6-week program to help product-based aspiring or existing business owners sell online.  Business owners will learn how to get their business online, reach new customers, and increase their sales at a local, regional, and national scale.  After completing the program, business owners will gain access to sell on a California-branded eCommerce platform.  Business owners will receive a six-month free subscription to sell online while receiving no-cost one-on-one consulting to assist in furthering their online success.


Financial Fitness Bootcamp

This 4-day small business training program offers 8 hours of in-person instruction on becoming “Financially Fit” and allows attendees to discover the world of financial management for small businesses in a comprehensive step-by-step process. Understanding how and why financial management and the tools to achieve this are critical components to healthy business growth! Attendees can expect to develop these essential tools to manage their small business financials properly and avoid future pitfalls.


Digital Main Street

This program is aimed at assisting brick-and-mortar businesses with Creating a Digital Presence for their business.  Each small business owner will learn how to set up an online profile through Google, will reach out to customers for a Google review, and will learn how to create and send Facebook or Instagram posts.  The program will then change to highlight how to use paid and non-paid advertising to generate leads that turn into sales.  The program will culminate with business owners receiving a grant to put towards advertising that will generate customer traffic.


To be eligible to apply for the Small Business & Non-Profit Training & Grant Program, a business or non-profit must meet certain criteria that have been established by the City of San Bernardino and the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Treasury for utilizing ARPA funds. The business must also demonstrate the need for financial support resulting from the loss of revenue due to the impact of COVID-19.


General Terms and Conditions 

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

  • The business or non-profit must be physically located in the City of San Bernardino;
  • Be a “small business” defined as having fewer than 500 employees, OR be a “home-based business,” OR be a “non-profit;”
    • If a “non-profit,” must be a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 with a principal office located within the City of San Bernardino and operating since at least July 2019. The Applicant acknowledges and agrees that if the Applicant receives a grant and the Applicant’s organization ceases to operate, the Applicant may be subject to return of all or any portion of such grant.
  • Residential or real estate projects including short-term rental operators are not eligible;
  • Have an active San Bernardino Business License and/or Home Occupation Permit at the time of the application;
  • The business or non-profit must be in good standing with the City (current on bills, no liens or judgements, etc.), unless directly correlated to COVID-19 impacts;
  • The business or non-profit must not be suspended or debarred or otherwise excluded from receiving Federal funding;
  • The business or non-profit must complete the required training;
  • The business or non-profit must submit the application and all required supporting documentation; and
  • The business or non-profit applicant must certify that it was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of a business being negatively affected by the pandemic include, but are not limited to:
    • A decrease of 25% or greater in sales.
    • The business has had to lay off at least one of its employees (Full or Part time).
    • One or more of the employees in the business have contracted COVID-19, while at work.
    • Qualified as an “underserved small business group” (if this is satisfactorily met, no other hardship must be provided).
      • Women, minorities (people of color), veteran-owned business where the majority (at least 51%) of the business is owned and run on a daily basis by said group(s)
      • Businesses operating in “low-to-moderate income (LMI)” or “qualified census tract” communities
        • “Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI)” or “qualified census tract” means any census tract (or equivalent geographic area defined by the Bureau of the Census) in which at least 50% of households have an income less than 60 percent of the Area Median Gross Income (AMGI), or which has a poverty rate of at least 25%.

* City employees and elected and appointed officials are not eligible to participate in this program. 

Eligible activities for the use of funds should be used to cover fixed expenses for the business. The primary fixed expenses include such items as rent or mortgage expense, utilities, inventory, payroll and benefit costs, PPE, or other operational expenses for the business. Applicants will fill out a section of the application form that will breakdown how the funds will be spent within their business (“Spending Plan”). Each applicant will need to sign and verify that the use of funds will be spent on business expenses, such as those expressed above. Any use of funding other than that to support the business is strictly prohibited and may result in the applicant being subject to return all or any portion of such grant.


Eligible expenses are considered necessary expenditures that provide economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency.  In the event a business does not expend the funds in the manner consistent with the Spending Plan as outlined in the application or does not expend the entire grant amount, the business will be required to submit a report to the City no later than September 30, 2023, identifying how the funds were spent.  If there is a remaining balance, the business may be required to return the funds to the City by September 30, 2023. 


The following is a nonexclusive list of expenditures that shall not constitute Eligible Expenses payable from the grant amount:

(1)     Damages covered by insurance.

(2)     Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed or recovered through other funding programs, such as the reimbursement by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act or contributions by States to State unemployment funds.

(3)     Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.

(4)     Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime.

(6)     Severance pay.

(6)     Legal expenses or settlements.

(7)     Debt service or loan repayment.

For additional information regarding the Small Business & Non-Profit Training & Grant Program, please contact the following:

City of San Bernardino
Economic Development Department
201 North E Street, 3rd Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92401

For questions about the guidelines and application or assistance in completing the application and to set up a one-on-one consultation (at no cost), please contact the SBDC at:

Orange County Inland Empire SBDC
California State University, Fullerton
Office Number: 800-616-7232

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