Are you a microbusiness operator impacted by COVID-19?

If so, we have a program that may help you.

The Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant offers $2,500 grants to qualified microbusiness owners impacted by the pandemic. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Round Two applications will open on January 9, 2023, and will close until the program funds have been exhausted.

Brought to you by the Merced County Workforce Development Board and its partners.

  • Central Valley Opportunity Center
  • Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation
  • Los Banos Chamber of Commerce
  • Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Merced Lao Family
  • Worknet Merced County

How can the grant be used if I am awarded?

COVID-19 supplies

...and more!


Your small business could be eligible.

Small business owners such as childcare, food trucks, barbers/stylists, swap meet vendors, nonprofits, and other operators that have earned less than $50K in gross revenue in 2019 and saw a 10% reduction in revenue in the 2020 taxable year are encouraged to apply.

Key Eligibility Requirements


My business is open, or I plan to reopen in Merced County soon.


My annual gross income was between $1K and $50K in 2019 and was my primary source of income.

Business Start Date

I began my business before December 31, 2019.


I have less than five full-time employees.

COVID-19 Impact

My business was impacted by the pandemic and saw a 10% reduction in revenue in 2020.

Previous Grants

I did not receive the California COVID-19 Relief Grant in 2021.

Technical Assistance

Where can I get help with my application?

If you need help with your application, our team and/or community partners can help you fill out your application and assist you by uploading your required documents. The application process should take about 15 minutes to complete.

We have your back!

Merced County has collaborated with four community-based organizations that can help you: Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Los Banos Chamber of Commerce, Central Valley Opportunity Center, and Merced Lao Family.

For questions, contact
Mario Pena at (209) 724-2046

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Microbusiness?

A microbusiness (micro-enterprise) is defined as a small business with zero or a handful of employee(s) and that operates on a very small scale.

Are there limits on the size of the grant I can request?

Yes. Every grant is exactly $2,500.

How must the recipient utilize the grant for their business?

The grant funds should be used for one or more of the following uses:

  • Purchase of equipment;
  • Investment in working capital (ie., payroll, rent);
  • Application for, or renewal of, a local permit including, but not limited to, a permit to operate as a sidewalk vendor;
  • Payment of business debt accrued due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and/or
  • Costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions or business interruptions or closures incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I mail my application?

No. We are only accepting electronically submitted applications because applicants are being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you need help applying for the grant, contact Mario Pena at (209) 724-2046. Our team and/or partners can walk you through the application process. You can also get in person assistance from our team.

Is a Matricula Consular acceptable as a form of identification?

Yes. A Matricula Consular can be a valuable identification card living in the U.S.