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As part of the Tustin Cares program, the City of Tustin has partnered with Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to offer a six to seven-week Main Street Digital Grant Program, which will provide training and funding to woman-owned and/or minority owned small brick and mortar retail businesses needing financial assistance to increase their revenue due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. All eligible retail businesses are invited to apply to participate in the learning program and receive a grant to assist in applying the practical skills learned in the program to be used for paid advertising on social media. Businesses which have previously received alternative sources of funding such as the City of Tustin Small Business Emergency Grant, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan 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 woman-owned and/or minority-owned businesses with a minimum of one (1) employee – not including the owner, and a maximum of twenty-five (25) employees (full or full-time equivalent combination) may be eligible to receive a digital marketing grant of five hundred dollars ($500). The grant must be used for a paid advertising campaign, developed during the training program and in conjunction with a SBDC consultant.
Online applications will be accepted from 9:00 am, Monday, October 11, 2021 to 10:00 pm, Sunday, October 17, 2021. Paper applications will not be accepted, but applicants needing assistance can contact the SBDC for telephone support at 1-800-616-7232. Applications received after this due date and time will be considered late and will not be accepted.
The City will disburse twenty (20) $500 grants, a total of $10,000, to twenty (20) woman-owned and/or minority-owned businesses. The City anticipates the number of applications will exceed the amount of funding available for disbursement. As a result, the City will implement a lottery system for all eligible small businesses.
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.
The SBDC created a new virtual training program aimed at assisting brick-and-mortar retail 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 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 small grant to put towards advertising that will generate customer traffic. The program will consist of two steps: Step 1 will focus on building a digital presence over four (4) weeks; and Step 2 will uncover the unique paid /non-paid
advertising channels and what is the right path for each business owner. All sessions will take place in a group format and will be coupled with individual one-on-one consulting with SBDC consultants. The first program will be conducted in English only.
Step 1: Building a Digital Presence
Each business owner will complete three sessions on building a digital presence. At the end of three weeks, each business owner will have the opportunity to apply for a grant to assist them in their paid-advertising promotion, developed in partnership with their SBDC consultant.
Week 1: All about Google
Week 2: Reaching my Audience through Facebook and Instagram
Week 3: My First Facebook/Instagram Post
Week 4: The Right Channel for My Business
Step 2A: Understanding How to Drive Traffic through Paid/Non-Paid Advertising for businesses that have chosen to go the Social Media pathway for paid advertising
Week 5 – Advertising on Social Media
Week 6 – Setting up the FB/IG Campaign
Step 2B: Understanding How to Drive Traffic through Paid/Non-Paid Advertising for businesses that have chosen to go the Website pathway for paid advertising.
Week 5: How to Reach Your Customer Online through Google Ads
Week 6: How to Build Out a Successful Google Ad campaign
Week 7: Putting it all Together
Wrap-up: Utilizing Grant for Paid Advertising – Measuring and Tracking Each business owner will be assigned a SBDC business consultant to assist them with their paid advertising platform. The SBDC consultant will provide one-on-one assistance, customized to each business owner’s needs. The SBDC will continue to work with each client through the program and beyond. Every quarter, the SBDC will track and measure the success of each business owner as they deploy their marketing campaigns. The SBDC will track change in sales, jobs created and increase in customer traffic.
To be eligible to apply for the Tustin Main Street Digital Grant Program, a business must meet certain criteria that has been established by the City of Tustin 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 temporary loss of revenue due to the impact of COVID-19.
General Terms and Conditions*
The business applicant must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for grant funding:
* City employees and elected and appointed officials are not eligible to participate in this program.
The funds must be used to develop a paid advertising campaign for the purpose of increasing revenue to offset lost revenue due to COVID-19 impacts. Each applicant will need to sign and verify that the use of funds will be spent on a paid advertising campaign, such as expressed above. Any use of funding other than for paid advertising is strictly prohibited. If there is a remaining balance after December 31, 2021, the business will be required to return the funds to the City by January 31, 2022.
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