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.

“It is looking to be a tough winter for our business owners who have been working so hard to stay open within strict operating restrictions and safety measures,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We wanted to do everything we could to assist owners in offsetting some of their expenses, and that meant allowing businesses to receive more funds and increasing eligibility so that even more could participate.”

A business or nonprofit, no more than 100 employees and has been in business prior to Jan. 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.

“When the program expired at the end of October, we recognized we still had a balance that hadn’t been claimed,” said Luther Snoke, chief operating officer for the county. “With so many of our local restaurants and businesses going to be impacted by the colder months ahead, we wanted to make sure we gave our businesses every opportunity to get what they could out this program.”

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. The county will be contacting those businesses that have already applied to coordinate the new funding.

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