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Santa Clara County Launches Small Business Loan Program

January 4, 2021

For More Information, Contact:                                   

Charlsie Chang                                                                                               
(408) 299-5050 office
(626) 898-2395 cell                           


SAN JOSELow-interest loans of up to $100,000 are now available for Santa Clara County small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the State’s California Rebuilding Fund. The loan program is a partnership proposed by County Supervisors Joe Simitian and Susan Ellenberg.

Simitian, who pushed for the program noted, “These small businesses are the backbone of our communities, providing employment and economic stability for hundreds of thousands of residents across the county.”

The California Rebuilding Fund is a public-private partnership that drives capital from private, philanthropic and public sector resources – including a $25 million anchor commitment and $50 million guarantee allocation from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) – to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) such as San Jose’s Accion Opportunity Fund, which then lends the funds to small businesses.

Santa Clara County’s $6 million initial investment in the Fund’s initial $25 million dollar package is designed to ensure that small businesses in Santa Clara County have access to sufficient funds for the ongoing crisis. “We need all the state and federal help we can get, but by using these local dollars as well we can make sure local businesses and their employees make their way to the top of the list,” said Simitian. Simitian said he will be pushing for additional investment at the Board of Supervisors meeting on January 12.

Simitian said he was drawn to a partnership with the California Rebuilding Fund because repayment is largely guaranteed (at least 95% will be returned regardless of loan performance), and because a loan program allows the repaid funds to be, “loaned again and again, multiplying the impact of the County’s participation over time. In that way,” said Simitian, “I think we can be both bold and prudent at the same time.” Simitian says he hopes the “recycled” investment of the County dollars can eventually fund $100 million in small business loans.

"Small businesses have been the driving force behind every economic recovery, including leading the way out of the Great Recession. They can do it again, but not without an intentional effort to reach and support them—especially businesses owned by people of color, immigrants and women, most of which have been left behind by federal relief efforts," said Luz Urrutia, CEO of Accion Opportunity Fund. "The California Rebuilding Fund is intentionally structured to support the businesses that make up the heart and soul of our Main Streets by utilizing a strong network of CDFIs across the state that already have relationships with small businesses. It's a vitally important program to help California's small businesses make it through this crisis, reopen, and rebuild."

The loans:

·      Range from $2,000 to $100,000;

·      Have a 4.25% interest rate and a 3-or 5-year term option; and,

·      Are available for qualifying small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees that had revenues under $2.5 million in 2019 and meet the program’s standard underwriting guidelines (which includes at least a 25% reduction in revenues compared to a prior one-year period).

To learn more about the program or begin the application process for a loan, please visit:

“My hope is that we can get the word out to small business owners that these funds are available now and are relatively easy to apply for,” Simitian added. “I know people are hurting, and these funds are a step in the right direction.”

Other Programs

In addition to the California Rebuilding Fund, other resources and funding are available to small businesses:


Governor Gavin Newsom announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). Grants of up to $25,000 are available to underserved micro and small businesses as well as nonprofits. To learn more, visit:

Tax Credits

The Main Street Hiring Tax Credit is available to qualified small businesses and is a credit equal to $1,000 per qualified employee, up to $100,000 for each small business employer. To learn more, visit: 


Last updated: 1/4/2021 2:04 PM