Small Business Resources

Coronavirus and Businesses

As we continue to monitor the conditions, there has been an increase in new cases nationwide and raising concerns about the spread of the virus. The California Department of Public Health has ordered all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of critical infrastructure sectors. We recognize that these events may have impacted you and your business. Please visit the links below to view the resources available to you.

City of Hesperia Emergency Business Assistance Program

The COVID-19 emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP) will provide grant assistance to micro and small-businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will launch on January 19, 2021 and funds will be awarded on a first come / first service basis. Please contact April Antonio at aantonio@cityofhesperia.us or (760)947-1909 for more information

To begin the EBAP pre-application process CLICK HERE

The pre-application period for this program will be open until April 19th 2021 at 5:30pm or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

Microenterprise Assistance 

The EBAP program will provide grants up to $25,000 to microenterprises that were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Microenterprise grants can be used for the following purposes: 

  • Rent/utilities
  • Payroll
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies required for business operation (The City will not provide reimbursement for any installation-related costs.)
  • Business services to increase or alter business activities (e.g. Point of Sale system, website development, outdoor business activities etc.)

Eligible Microenterprise Businesses

To qualify as an eligible microenterprise business, the business must meet the following criteria:

  • Five (5) or fewer total employees (including owner)
  • Business owner’s family income is less than 80% area median income
  • Business is located within the city boundaries
  • Owner is 18 years or older
  • At time of application, business must be in good-standing with the City, have a valid business license, no pending health or code enforcement matters proceeding and not delinquent in the payment of any business license fees or taxes owed the city
  • Business was adversely impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and can provide supporting documentation illustrating the impact
  • Certification that the business has neither received nor will seek other grants, loans, or other assistance from any private, local, state, or federal funding source for the same use as identified in the program application
  • Business type is not an ineligible business (see below)

Small Business Assistance 

The EBAP program will provide grants up to $35,000 to small businesses that were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small Business Assistance grants can be used for the following purposes:

  • Rent/utilities
  • Payroll
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies required for business operation (The City will not provide reimbursement for any installation-related costs.)
  • Business services to increase or alter business activities (e.g. Point of Sale system, website development, outdoor business activities etc.)

Eligible Small Businesses

To qualify as an eligible small business, the business must meet the following criteria:

  • Business does not qualify as a microenterprise (see prior section)
  • Commitment to create or retain at least one full time equivalent (FTE) permanent job as a result of the EBAP; 51% of all jobs created or retained must be held or made available to low- or moderate-income individuals
  • Business is located within the city boundaries
  • Owner is 18 years or older
  • At time of application, business must be in good-standing with the City, have a valid business license, no pending health or code enforcement matters proceeding and not delinquent in the payment of any business license fees or taxes owed the City
  • Business was adversely impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and can provide supporting documentation illustrating the impact
  • Certification that the business has neither received nor will seek other grants, loans, or other assistance from any private, local, state, or federal funding source for the same use as identified in the program application
  • Business type is not an ineligible business (see below)

Ineligible Businesses

  • Government, charitable and non-profit organizations
  • Firms engaged in speculative activities that generate revenue based on fluctuations in price rather than through the normal course of trade (ex.: commodities firms)
  • Businesses involved in banking and lending activities, including real estate investment firms, banks, finance companies, insurance companies, leasing companies, or factors
  • Pyramid type sales organizations
  • Franchise operations where the franchisor retains control over business operations to the extent that the franchisee is the equivalent of an employee
  • Casinos or other gambling businesses
  • Sexually-oriented or adult businesses
  • Massage facilities or technicians
  • Smoke, vape, or other similar shops and vendors
  • Nightclub, lounge, bar, or liquor store

For full details, please review this document. For any questions, please contact our Economic Development department at (760)947-1909.

COVID-19 Small Business Tax Credit

December 1st marks the beginning of the application period for the Small business Tax Credit allowing up to $100,000 per business.

Credit Reservations are Required: To receive a tax credit tentative reservation, qualifying small business need to apply to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) between December 1, 2020, and January 15, 2021. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

How the credit works: An eligible small business can receive $1,000 in credit for each net new hire that occurred during the second half of 2020, up to $100,000 per business. This tax credit can be used against personal and corporate income tax liabilities OR sales and use tax liabilities from the 2020 tax year. For more information and to reserve a credit reservation visit: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/file/business/credits/small-business-hiring-credit.html

Please view the following link to stay updated on all new information. COVID-19 Business Relief Programs

CA Rebuilding Fund Small Business Loans

The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program to support California’s small businesses—especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state. Businesses who employed 50 or less full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply.

Please note, this program is not associated with the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or any other SBA program. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole.
The loans will need to be paid back over a 3- or 5-year term with a fixed annual interest rate that is currently 4.25%. Please see the Loan Terms tab for details. For more information and to apply visit:   https://www.connect2capital.com/p/californiarebuildingfund/

COVID-Compliant Business Partner Locator

The County is launching a new online database that will allow residents and visitors to easily find those businesses committed to ensuring the health and safety of employees and customers. The businesses are those who are participating in the County’s COVID-Compliant Business Partnership. Partnership members have agreed to comply with state and County public health orders and incorporate a variety of safety measures in their day-to-day operations. 

For more information, please view the county update https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/?p=7835 

Relief for businesses and employees

Please visit the following websites for more information:


**UPDATE 12/3/2020 California issues limited stay-at-home order due to increased hospitalizations. More businesses ordered to shutdown.

Due to the substantial increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions, Governor Newsom has ordered a limited stay at home order which will initially remain in place for three weeks. San Bernardino County has reached over 85% of ICU capacity and will fall under the new mandate. This will mandate the closure of the following: 

  • Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
  • Personal care services, including hair and nail salons and barbershops
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums
  • Bars and wineries
  • Campgrounds (for overnight stays)
  • On-site dining at restaurants (take-out, pick-up and delivery only)
  • Hotels and motels except for critical infrastructure support

In addition, the new mandate limits retail stores to 20% capacity, and eating or drinking inside stores is prohibited. The new rules also ban non-essential travel, but outdoor recreation facilities will remain open

Schools that have received waivers permitting them to provide in-person instruction are allowed to stay open. Doctors and dentists may also continue seeing patients.

**UPDATE 11/16/2020 County Extends COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program to Dec. 13

In an effort to support as many businesses as possible that are dealing with state public health restrictions and the arrival of colder weather, the County of San Bernardino has announced an extension of the COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program with increased funding and adjusted eligibility criteria.

A business or nonprofit, no more than 100 employees and has been in business prior to January 1, 2020 are now eligible to receive the funding, providing they demonstrate continued compliance with state/county public health orders, and incorporate safety and social distancing practices and measures in their business operations.

The amount funded for these operations is now $5,000 for an initial location and $2,000 for each additional location, with an additional amount of $2,500 for any business that is relocating operations to outdoors. For business partners that participated in the program earlier this year, they will receive additional funding to bring their total allotment to these new levels. Short Term Rentals and private schools are excluded from additional funding.

Interested businesses that have not previously applied have until Dec. 13 to apply for the funds.  To date, 5,125 entities have been funded, and nearly $12.5 million has been distributed to eligible small businesses or nonprofits.  For those who already applied, the County will be contacting you in the very near future to coordinate the additional funding.

**UPDATE 10/28/2020 Deadline for COVID-Complaint Business Partnership Program; More businesses allowed to reopen; COVID Relief Grants available for County Non-profits

There is still time to apply for assistance through the County’s successful COVID Compliant Business Partnership program, but not much! Applications have to be submitted before Oct. 31. San Bernardino County businesses and nonprofits can still receive up to $3,700 for participating in the program. The program has funding of $2,500 for eligible small businesses with 1 to 100 employees, and an additional $1,200 per business to restaurants and retail stores that have been forced to move outdoors in response to State regulations (such as stores located inside indoor malls, as well as churches, fitness facilities and service businesses).

The more than 4,000 County businesses, nonprofit organizations, and schools operating on waivers that currently participating in the partnership have collectively received more than $10 million from the County to offset costs related to compliance with COVID-19-related public health protocols.

Applications are being accepted online at https://sbcovid19.com/ now through Friday, October 30 or until funding is exhausted. All businesses that apply and are determined to be a COVID-Compliant Business Partner will be issued a “This Business Partner is COVID Compliant” window graphic to show customers and clients that they are doing their part. For more information about the announcement, visit https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/?p=9294. For more information about eligibility and applications, visit https://sbcovid19.com/covid-compliant-business-partnership-program/. 

Skin care, tattoo studeios & massage therapy are now permitted to reopen under the new state guidance. The State of California has issued new guidance for “expanded personal care services” that will allow businesses in these industries to open in San Bernardino County and elsewhere throughout the state. The new guidance focuses on personal care services that require touching a client’s face, including facials, electrolysis, and waxing. It applies to esthetic, skin care, electrology, body art professionals, tattoo studios, piercing shops, and massage therapy businesses (in non-healthcare settings). All businesses in this category are required to follow the modifications included in the new guidance. For more information, visit https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/?p=9231.

County Nonprofits can receive up to $20,000 in COVID-Relief Grants. Inland Empire Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications through Nov. 11. Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) is currently accepting grant applications to give nonprofits a boost in funding and help curb the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations. Nonprofits could receive up to $20,000 in aid and must provide services in San Bernardino County to be eligible for funding.

The Board of Supervisors has partnered with IECF to establish this San Bernardino County Nonprofit Assistance Fund. This month, the supervisors approved $5 million in financial support to the nonprofit community using CARES Act funding. IECF, which is managing the grant program, will oversee the application and review process, in collaboration with the Inland Empire Funders Alliance. Grant awards will be dispersed directly by San Bernardino County to IECF-approved nonprofits.

For more information on the announcement, visit https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/?p=9258

**UPDATE 7/13/2020 California orders closure of indoor operations of additional sectors

Responding to significant increases in positive test results, hospitalizations and ICU admissions, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced further mandates to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Details can be found on the State’s COVID-19 website. The State has immediately expanded closures to include indoor operations for:

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Movie theaters
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Museums
  • Cardrooms

Breweries, bars and pubs are required to close both indoor and outdoor operations entirely in every county.

In addition, within the 31 counties on the state’s monitoring list (which includes San Bernardino), the State requires the closure of indoor operations in sectors that tend to promote the mixing of populations which make adherence to social distancing and wearing face masks difficult. Businesses in these sectors that are unable to operate outdoors must close immediately under the State’s order. They include:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Place of worship
  • Offices for non-critical sectors
  • Personal care services (e.g., nail salons, massage and tattoo facilities)
  • Hair salons and barber shops
  • Indoor malls

For more information, please view the County update at https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/?p=8046

**UPDATE 7/1/2020 Governor Newsom orders 19 California counties to close certain businesses and operations including San Bernardino County.

In response to the rising numbers of coronavirus cases in California, Governor Newsom has ordered additional action to slow community transmission. The guidance applies for a minimum of three weeks and is subject to an extension based on epidemiologic indicators. The following guidance applies to the following sectors:

  • Indoor Dine-in restaurants
  • Indoor Wineries and Tasting Rooms
  • Indoor Family Entertainment Centers
  • Indoor Movie Theaters
  • Indoor Zoos and Museums
  • Indoor Cardrooms

In addition, all brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs in these counties must close immediately, both indoor and outdoor. 

For further information, please visit the California Department of Health announcement at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR20-143.aspx

**UPDATE** 6/15/2020 San Bernardino County moves to Stage 3 of business reopening

The San Bernardino County has flattened the COVID-19 curve and secured the resources needed to continue keeping the novel coronavirus under control. Therefore, dine-in restaurants, stores and other businesses can now reopen with safety measures throughout the county. Businesses that plan to reopen are required to follow state guidance. For more information on the County announcement, please visit https://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/countywire/?p=7623. For more information on the Statewide industry reopening guidance, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/.

**UPDATE** 5/14/20 San Bernardino County announces Small Business Stimulus Package

San Bernardino County has announced a $30 million COVID-19 Compliant Business Program for small businesses that have less than one hundred employees. This program was created to assist small businesses that have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please visit the County’s website below and fill in your information to find out if your business is eligible. Eligible businesses may receive up to $2,500. The program will be available on Thursday, May 14th  (subject to minor delays).

In addition, the County has opened up a Self-Certification COVID-19 Training Course to allow businesses to “self-certify” as COVID-19 compliant. The certificate will help customers feel safer and more at ease to enter those businesses. The course is also scheduled to be available Thursday, May 14th (subject to minor delays) on the County’s website.

To find out if your business qualifies for the COVID-19 Compliant Business Program or to take the online COVID-19 Training, please visit the county website at http://sbcovid19.com or call the COVID-19 hotline at (909)387-3911. 

**UPDATE 3/31/20 In Support of Local Businesses, Hesperia Suspends Requirements for Portions of City Sign Ordinance

In support of local businesses deemed essential per the California Governor’s Order, the City of Hesperia is suspending requirements for businesses to obtain a special event permit for temporary signage. This suspension will take effect beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until the orders by the State of California and/or County of San Bernardino Public Health Department are amended to allow businesses to operate as normal.

The City of Hesperia is sensitive to the struggles of local businesses and wants to aid their ability to advertise their hours of operation.

“Hesperia will continue to rally around our residents and businesses and support them to the best of our ability,” said Mayor Larry Bird.

Legislation enacted by the state and federal government, and entities such as the Public Utilities Commission, has provided assurances for those facing utilities shut-offs and evictions – so the City has focused on identifying the needs of our local community and those ordinances within Hesperia’s jurisdiction to bring about positive change.

The City has coordinated with the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce to publish a list of restaurants that are open for business, which is available on the City website. Hesperia businesses wishing to add their operating hours to the list are encouraged to email socialmedia@cityofhesperia.us.