The Sacramento region recently marked a somber anniversary, passing the one-year mark since the first lockdown orders went into effect in March of 2020. As we look towards what our next new normal might be like, many Sacramento residents and businesses are still struggling under the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent legislation has made local, state, and federal aid available to individuals and small businesses who need assistance. Learn more about some of these programs and their eligibility requirements.
4 Financial Aid Programs to Help Sacramento Residents & Businesses Navigate the Pandemic
Federal Student Loan Relief
As of March 20, 2020, the Federal Student Aid office has temporarily suspended student loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and implemented a 0% interest rate. Since then, these benefits have been extended through at least September 30, 2021.
This 0% rate only applies to federal student loans owned by the US Department of Education. You can visit StudentAid.gov to determine if your loans are owned by the Department of Education.
Learn more about federal student loan relief.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a program that includes over $20 billion for emergency rental assistance to be distributed and overseen by the US Department of the Treasury. This funding will go to support local landlords and tenants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible, households must have:
- Income below 80 percent of the area median income
- A financial obligation to pay rent
- At least one household member has experienced a reduction of income or financial hardship due to COVID-19
- Experienced or are at risk of experiencing homelessness
Enter your zip code to learn more about your eligibility and get connected with a local Emergency Rental Assistance Program administrator. Get started.
Restaurant Relief Grant Program
Members of the Independent Restaurant Coalition have partnered with members of Congress to craft legislation creating a $28.6 billion restaurant and bar grant program.
These grants will cover eligible expenses incurred beginning on February 15, 2020 through the end of 2021. Eligible expenses include:
- Payroll (up to compensation exceeding $100,000), employee benefits, and paid sick leave
- Mortgage, rent, and utilities
- Outdoor seating construction
- Supplies, protective equipment, and cleaning materials
- Operational expenses
- Debt obligations to suppliers
According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, these grants will be available soon. Learn more about the program and how you can apply.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program provides grants to support live entertainment, theatrical, and other arts and culture businesses. Eligible organizations include live entertainment venues, live entertainment promoters, performing arts organizations, museum operators, movie theatre operators, and talent representatives.
Other requirements include:
- Demonstrable loss of 25% of gross receipts in any quarter
- Must not be a large operator, such as publicly-traded corporations, businesses with locations in 2 or more countries or 10 or more states, or who have 500 or more employees
Click here to learn more about the program and eligibility. Applications open on April 8th.
These programs and others like them exist to help the residents and small businesses of our area navigate this challenging time. Follow your local news sources and local representatives for more information.