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By Shawn Raymundo

The application window for San Clemente’s small businesses to apply for COVID-19 relief grants from the city opens Tuesday, Jan. 12. 

With the help of more than $253,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding through the CARES Act—the economic relief measure Congress passed last spring—the city is looking to offer grants of up to $10,000 for small businesses and $7,500 for microbusinesses.

Eligible small businesses must comprise between six and 25 full-time employees, while microbusinesses cover such workplaces that employ five people or fewer, according to the city’s webpage dedicated to the grant relief program.

Jonathan Lightfoot, the city’s economic development officer, hosted a webinar on Monday, Jan. 11, for local businesses to learn more about the program.

According to Lightfoot, eligible businesses must be San Clemente-based, located within city limits, and have an active business license for the last six months. The businesses must also have been impacted by the pandemic, and can show that sales are down by more than 15% compared to the prior year.

The window for businesses to apply will close on Jan. 24. From Jan. 25-31, the city will review applications, going over completeness, as well as assisting with any documentation issues. The city’s grant review committee will review the applications and announce awards between Feb.1 and 4.

According to Lightfoot’s presentation, if there aren’t enough funds to award every eligible business that applied, the grant review committee will give priority to those that have demonstrated the greatest impact to revenues.

And if there’s more funding leftover, a second round of grants would be considered.

Application forms can be found on the city’s webpage for the program. Inquiries and requests for additional information can be sent to

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