Kern County recognizes that our local businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our County is grounded in a rich history of helping our neighbors when they need it most, and promoting them onward to boundless opportunities. We're very proud to offer this innovative new program that exemplifies our Grounded & Boundless way of life in Kern County.
The Kern Recovers Small Business Forgivable Loan Program provides $25 million in forgivable loans of up to $75,000 each to local small businesses like restaurants, gyms, and salons to directly mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19.
While similar to the federal Payroll Protection Program, the county’s program provides increased flexibility and will only be available to local small businesses with less than 50 employees and under $5 million in annual revenue.
Four local financial institutions — Valley Republic Bank, Mission Bank, Valley Strong Credit Union and AltaOne Federal Credit Union — have partnered with the county to process applications and administer these funds to eligible applicants.
Apply to only one financial institution. Applying to multiple institutions could jeopardize your loan.
Interested businesses don't need to be customers of the banks in order to apply for the loans, nor will they be required to become customers.
Program Eligibility Guidelines:
Applicant must be one of the following:
- A business concern (corporation, partnership, LLC, sole proprietor, etc.)
- A tax-exempt veterans organization described in section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- A tax-exempt nonprofit organization described in section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6)
Applicant must be in business prior to March 1, 2020.
Applicant must be independently owned and operated.
Applicant must be directly impacted by COVID-19 and utilize loan proceeds to mitigate these impacts.
Applicant must be a Small Business satisfying all of the following criteria:
- Have 50 or fewer concurrent w-2 employees, average over 12 months prior to March 1, 2020, as supported by payroll tax filings, workers compensation filings, or internal payroll records.
- Have $5,000,000 or less in annual revenues in calendar year 2019, as supporters by the 2019 tax return filing or internal financial reporting, if the 2019 tax return has not been filed.
Applicant must be a Local Business as defined using the definition of a "local vendor" in Section 2.38.131 of the Kern County Ordinance defining such businesses as follows:
- Has had a fixed office or distribution point located in and having a street address within the county for at least the past (6) months;
- Holds any required business license by the county or a city within the county;
- Employs at least one (1) full-time or two (2) part-time w-2 employees whose primary residence is located within Kern County, or if the business has no w-2 employees, is at least fifty percent (50%) owned by one (1) or more persons whose primary residence(s) is located within Kern County; and
- Will credit all sales taxes generated pursuant to the Kern Recovers Program award amount to its business location in Kern County. If the business does not generate California sales tax, this section is not applicable.
Program Award and Funding Guidelines:
Except as included below, all applications from eligible applicants will be processed by the loan processor in the order received.
Except as indicated below, and based on available program funds, approved applications will receive program funding by the County in the order in which their applications are approved regardless of which loan processor recommends approval of the application.
First preference will be given to support severely impacted business sectors such as restaurants, salons, gyms, hotels, tourism, and other non-essential industries as identified by the Governor's executive order. Applications from these sectors will be prioritized and expedited.
Second preference will be given to businesses that have not already been awarded funding through the Payroll Protection Program or other COVID-19 related business support from the state or other local governmental entities ("Other Support"). Although businesses that have received Other Support may submit applications for funding through Kern Recovers, those applications will not be processed or approved until such time as the County has determined adequate time has passed to allow businesses that have not received Other Support to apply for funding through the Kern Recovers Program.
Notwithstanding the forgoing, a sole proprietor that is not a w-2 employee of the business and received Other Support for w-2 based payroll costs but no form of compensation for the owner, may apply to the Kern Recovers Program only for payroll for the owner pursuant to the guidelines described in the For Sole Proprietors under the Forgivable Loan Guidelines section, below. Applications submitted pursuant to this section shall be treated equally as to those that have not received Other Support.
Additional efforts will be made to market this program specifically to the rural communities throughout Kern County.
Forgivable Loan Guidelines:
Maximum Amount of Forgivable Loan:
- Up to 4 months of average monthly payroll costs with a maximum of $75,000 per loan. For purposes of this calculation, the applicant may use either of the following:
- Average monthly payroll for calendar year 2019, or that portion of the year the business was open if it was not open the entire calendar year, as supported by payroll tax filings, workers compensation filings, or internal payroll records.
- Average monthly payroll from January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020, as supported by payroll tax filings, workers compensation filings, or internal payroll records.
- Eligible payroll costs for this calculation include employee w-2 compensation, paid time off, allowance for dismissal or separation, group health care benefits, retirement benefits, and payroll taxes.
- For Sole Proprietors - payroll for the owner of the business shall be determined by the average monthly net Schedule C profit for calendar year, 2019, or that portion of the year business was open if it was not open the entire calendar year.
- For the purpose of this calculation there is a $100,000 annualized salary cap for each w-2 employee and sole proprietor.
Loan proceeds must be used as follows:
- At least 34% to cover payroll and payroll related costs (group health care benefits, retirement benefits, payroll taxes)
- Up to 33% for general working capital.
- Up to 33% for rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.
Loan proceeds may be used to pay w-2 employees a premium wage as an incentive for rehiring and retaining w-2 employees so long as the premium hourly wage does not exceed 15% of that w-2 employee's hourly wage immediately prior to May 15, 2020 or $100,000 in annualized salary.
Loan proceeds may not be used to pay sole proprietors more per week than their average weekly net Schedule C profit for calendar year 2019.
Loan proceeds must be spent within 16 weeks of being received or by December 30, 2020, whichever is first.
Loan proceeds cannot be used to pay for any expenses already paid for with the Payroll Protection Program or other COVID-19 related business support from the state or other local governmental entities. Nor can the business seek reimbursement from these other programs for expenses paid for through the Kern Recovers Program loan proceeds.
All principal and interest payments on the loan will be deferred until it is either forgiven or due and payable pursuant to these guidelines.
It is recommended that the borrower, within 18 weeks of the date of the loan, receive business consulting from an SBA Technical Assistance Resource Partner such as the CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Corporation ("CSU Bakersfield SBDC") which offers this service at no cost.
- Loan proceeds spent within the allowable time frame and for the allowable uses, along with all accrued interest on those proceeds, will be forgiven upon receipt of acceptable documentation of compliance with these forgiveness requirements.
- Documentation of compliance with forgiveness requirements is due from the borrower within 18 weeks of loan issuance.
- Loan amounts not forgiven will become due and payable in full 26 weeks from the loan date with a 1.0% interest rate from the date of loan issuance for that portion of the loan not forgiven.
The Kern Recovers Guidelines contained herein are subject to modification by the County of Kern
|Loan proceeds must be spent||16 weeks from date of loan issuance or by December 30, 2020, whichever is first.|
Borrower requests business consulting from an SBA Technical Assistance Resource Partner such as the CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Corporation ("CSU Bakersfield SBDC") which offers this service at no cost.
|18 weeks from date of loan issuance|
|Documentation of compliance with forgiveness requirements is due from the borrower||18 weeks from date of loan issuance|
|Loan amounts not forgiven will become due and payable in full with a 1.0% interest rate||26 weeks from date of loan issuance|
Apply to only one financial institution. Applying to multiple institutions could jeopardize your loan.
Please contact your local branch or visit our website
- (661) 617-2142
- English and Spanish
- (661) 371-2079
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (661) 833-7775
Please contact us at KSBRP@altaone.net or call 800-433-9727 ext 7911
Am I eligible?
If your answer is "yes" to all of the questions below then you are eligible to apply.
- Were you in business prior to March 1, 2020?
- Is your business independently owned and operated?
- Was your business directly impacted by COVID-19 and you will utilize loan proceeds to mitigate these impacts?
- Have you averaged fifty (50) or fewer concurrent employees from March 1, 2019, through March 1, 2020?
- In calendar year 2019, was your annualized revenue $5,000,000 or less?
- Has your business had a fixed office, or distribution point, located within Kern County for at least the past six (6) months?
- Do you hold any required business license issued by Kern County, or a city within the county?
- Do you employ at least one (1) full-time, or two (2) part-time employees whose primary residence is located within Kern County? If your business has no employees, is it at fifty percent (50%) owned by one (1) or more persons whose primary residence is located within Kern County?
Are realtors eligible for funding under this program?
Realtors are eligible for Kern Recovers as long as they otherwise satisfy the Program Eligibility Guidelines. However, because realtors have not been deemed as non-essential by the governor, nor are they identified as a severely impacted business sector per Section 2c of the Kern Recovers Guidelines, they are not being prioritized at this time. Based on program demand and as funding permits, the County will expand into processing applications for realtors and other business not currently prioritized. Until that time, applications for realtors should not be submitted to the County for funding. Interested parties should monitor this website for future updates on this matter.
I am a local franchisee, is my business eligible for funding under this program?
A locally owned franchise where the owner maintains control over the business and bears the financial risk for the business may be eligible for Kern Recovers as long as they otherwise satisfy the Program Eligibility Guidelines. For eligibility purposes, all franchise locations should be combined when determining employee count and gross revenues. Franchises that don't meet the criteria above, such as corporately owned franchise locations, are not eligible for Kern Recovers.
My business already received funding through the federal Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), am I eligible for this program?
Although businesses that have received PPP funding are eligible for this program, preference is being given to organizations that have not yet received this type of financial assistance. Based on program demand and as funding permits, the County will expand into processing applications for PPP recipients and other business not currently prioritized. Until that time, applications for PPP recipients should not be submitted to the County for funding. Interested parties should monitor this website for future updates on this matter.
However, if you are a sole proprietor and only received PPP funding for your employees, you may be eligible to submit an application to this program limited to your 2019 net Schedule C profit and have that application processed. Contact one of the participating banks for details.
How do I apply?
Visit one of the four Partner Financial Institutions listed above.
What can I use the money for?
- No less than thirty-four percent (34%) of the loan proceeds must be used for payroll expenses.
- No more than thirty-three percent (33%) may be used for mortgage/rent/lease/utility payments.
- No more than thirty-three percent (33%) may be used for general working capital.
What is the maximum loan amount?
The maximum loan amount is $75,000.
Do I have to be a bank or credit union member to qualify?
No, an applicant does not need to be a member of any of the issuing partner financial institutions to participate in our Kern Recovers Program.
What if a Sole Proprietor has not filed their 2019 Tax Returns due to a federal tax extension?
The County will accept a 2019 Schedule C that has not been filed yet along with a signed statement from the applicant indicating the unfiled document is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and that, upon filing, they will provide a copy of their filed Schedule C, if it differs from the one submitted.
If the draft 2019 Schedule C differs significantly from 2017 and 2018 Schedule C forms filed, a letter from your CPA will be required supporting the draft 2019 form. Additional supporting documentation for the draft 2019 Schedule C may be required.