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Stockton rolling out $3,000 grants for struggling small businesses

167 small business grants of $3,000 are up for grabs in Stockton on a "first come, first serve" basis.

STOCKTON, Calif. — It's taken some work, but Fat City Brew and BBQ on Stockton's Miracle Mile is still open for take-out.

"It's been an adventure. We've been trying new things, and it's been working out pretty good," said Don King, the restaurant owner.

King estimates he's lost half his business income due to the coronavirus pandemic, but some relief might be on the way from the City of Stockton.

The City is offering 167 small business grants of $3,000 to help businesses like Fat City.

"We'll be able to help over 160 small businesses because we understand small businesses are the engines that really grow and power our local economy," said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs during a news conference streamed live on the city's website.

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The application is online at AdvantageStockton.com or Stocktonstrong.org. To be eligible, you must: 

  • have an existing business in Stockton
  • be "for profit" 
  • have a current business license 
  • a business or personal bank account
  • have no "open code violations"  
  • be "negatively impacted by Covid-19

It's all "first come, first serve" said city leaders during their news conference Thursday morning.

Fat City has had to lay off about a quarter of its staff and get creative with their menu to stay afloat.

"We tried doing the family pack before we were doing any family pack meal. Now, we do that. That's been really a good success for us," said King, who has 13 employees.

The grant money comes from a combination of the city's Emergency Response Fund and the Bay Area based, small business empowerment, non-profit, Main Street Launch.

Don King has put in his application and says every bit helps.

"Help with payroll and rent and utilities and stuff like that... because those things don't change," added King.

The city will use email to tell people whether they've been approved.

As for how long that approval process will take, the city says it will "largely depend on the volume of inquiries we receive."

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