About 80 home-based businesses in Cypress can now apply for a grant of $2,500 apiece under a new program approved by the city to alleviate financial stress brought on by the pandemic. 

Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Collegiate News Service, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Collegiate News Service Editor Vik Jolly at vjolly@voiceofoc.org.

The City Council in late February unanimously approved $200,000 to launch its Home-Based Businesses Pandemic Support Program that is expected to dole out the money by the end of March or early April. 

In January, the city approved $1.9 million for one-time pandemic assistance. According to a staff report, the city set aside $750,000 of that amount for small business resiliency grants. Half a million dollars of those resiliency funds will be for post-pandemic support, while the remaining will be used for the home-based grants. 

“There is $500,000 allocated for a different program that has not been spent yet…there’s plans to help (small businesses) with fees after the pandemic,” Jason Machado, a senior management analyst, said in a telephone interview. 

To be eligible, the home businesses must meet certain criteria, including that the enterprises must be for-profit and the primary source of income for the home. The city is taking applications now and the deadline remains open.

“I know that when we discussed this last time, we didn’t have a real definite number of how many businesses might fit this criteria,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Stacy Berry during the Feb. 22 council meeting. 

Modifications to the program will be made in case not enough applications are received. If there are more applicants than there are funds, then the grants may be determined by a lottery system. 

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