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Golden State Stimulus package provides small-business relief, $600 payments, and more

Businesses with annual revenues between $1,000 and $2.5 million are eligible. It also includes canceling fees for licenses like cosmetology and alcoholic beverages.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $7.6 billion coronavirus relief package into law on Tuesday, providing much-needed relief to the state's small businesses and stimulus payments to low-income residents.

The new laws, all part of the so-called “Golden State Stimulus” package, will give at least $600 one-time payments to 5.7 million people, the majority of whom will get the money by claiming California’s Earned Income Tax Credit on their state tax returns.

The package sets aside more than $2 billion in grants for struggling small businesses.

“The backbone of our economy is small business. We recognize the stress, the strain that so many small businesses have been under and we recognize our responsibility to do more and to do better to help support these small businesses through this very difficult and trying time,” Newsom said.

Businesses with annual revenues between $1,000 and $2.5 million are eligible for the funds. Grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000, with a priority given to businesses owned by women and minorities and businesses in areas with high unemployment rates. Approximately $50 million will be allocated for non-profit cultural institutions, too.

Money from this package builds upon the $500 million that has already been distributed to small businesses since the pandemic began, Newsom said.

“And I want to remind you these are grants, not loans – a profoundly important distinction,” Newsom said.

The package will also cancel the fees associated with licenses like cosmetology, barbering, and alcoholic beverages, for the next two years.

“The 59,000 businesses that have ABC licenses, some of those license fees are as much as $1,285. We’re waving those fees, not once, but over a two-year period. And that’s in addition to these small business [grants]. That’s the relief being provided in this package as well,” Newsom said.

Newsom signed the law as Congress is debating a much larger stimulus package for the nation. California's stimulus package will give up to $25,000 grants to small businesses with revenues between $1,000 and $2.5 million.

Money will also go to people who earn under $75,000 per year and use an individual taxpayer identification number to file their income taxes. These are people who don't have Social Security numbers, including immigrants who were ineligible for the federal stimulus payments Congress approved last year.

“Regardless of your status, those who have been left behind in that federal stimulus, California is not going to leave you behind,” Newsom said.

Funding for family resources, critical child care, community colleges, and the UC and CSU systems were also included in the package.

The bills signed as part of the Golden State Stimulus package include AB 81; AB 82; AB 85; SB 87; SB 88; and SB 94. Tap here to look up the full text of these bills.

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