CHULA VISTA, Calif. — The city of Chula Vista voted to pass a $3.6 million grant from the American Rescue Plan.
The city gave away nearly $2 million in COVID-19 relief back in 2020, but this time it's widened its eligibility and has included home-based businesses and even nonprofits.
The owners of Lili’s Creation, a Chula Vista quinceanera dress business, dedicate their time helping Latina 15-year-olds say 'yes' to their quinceanera dress, an emotional moment for parents as they witness their daughters in a sparkly princess like ball gown.
That could soon change, with rent prices skyrocketing and fewer customers visiting the store, the owners fear they will have to close down a 20-year business.
“We are still in the recovery phase. We are seeing it kind of build up, but it’s not perfect,” said Karen Witherspoon Lewis.
According to a recent city survey, nearly 200 Chula Vista businesses are struggling to cover payroll expenses, rent, equipment, and debt that has accrued during the pandemic.
Now with the help of the San Diego Foundation, the city has passed a new grant program.
Meaning small businesses could receive $10,000, but how do you apply and what are the requirements?
The city says it's on a first come first serve basis. meaning now that it’s passed you have two months to head to their website and apply.
As for who qualifies it's not just any business, but those that have fewer than 100 workers, with a gross revenue less than $250,000 and you have to show proof that you were affected by COVID-19.
The grant is also open to non profits like Community through Hope, a nonprofit organization helping hundreds of Chula Vista homeless, but suffered similar economic struggles.
“With supply chain issues it's been extremely difficult, we get fewer donations and it's affecting us and the people we try to help,” said Rosy Vasquez, who is the founder of the organization.
Although the grant sounds like good news, several businesses and even CTH tells CBS 8 they are cautiously optimistic on a grant being passed by the city.
“At times when we ask the city for accountability regarding unsheltered dollars it was not received well,” said Rosy Vasquez.
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