A Guide to Applying for California Government Aid

State aid programs are rapidly changing as they reach capacity and as new sources of funding come online. This guide outlines existing programs, but they might not be immediately available, even for businesses that meet the criteria.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on many small businesses across California. It has forced companies to pause operations, close their brick-and-mortar stores, and, if possible, move their businesses online.

The state of California, together with the federal government, has taken various steps to help small businesses cope with the new situation, and recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Besides the U.S. federal options available nationwide, there are also some financing options specific for California business owners.

Tax-relief options

To help businesses overcome this unprecedented situation, the state is offering multiple relief options for California taxpayers.

Three-month extension for tax payments

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is offering a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments without any penalties or interest. That means small businesses will have until the end of July to file their first-quarter returns.

Business taxpayers also have additional time to file claims for refunds and appeals to the Office of Tax Appeals. Taxpayers looking to make refund claims with CDTFA during this period will have an additional 60 days to file. Similarly, taxpayers seeking an appeal of a CDTFA tax determination to the Office of Tax Appeals will have 60 additional days to file the appropriate request.


As of March 30, 2020, all taxpayers who file a return of less than $1 million will have an additional three months to file their return, until July 31, 2020.

How to apply

If you qualify for this extension, it is automatic, and you do not need to apply.

Small business relief payment plans

Another tax-relief option from the CDTFA allows small businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales to defer up to $50,000 in sales- and use-tax payments for up to 12 months.


Small business taxpayers, with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales.

How to apply

Payment plan requests can be made through the CDTFA online services system in the coming months. If you want to be notified when the system becomes available, you can fill out this form, or contact the customer service center at 1-800-400-7115.

FTB special tax relief

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has extended deadlines for all California taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new deadline for filing tax appeals, protests, and refund claims is July 15, 2020.

FTB is postponing the filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and business entities for:


FTB is extending the relief to all California taxpayers.

How to apply

You don’t need to claim any special treatment or to call to qualify for this relief.

Access to financing/credit

In addition to the nationwide relief funding options, there are some specific financing options available for California business owners.

San Francisco COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund

San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) has created a resiliency fund for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The emergency loan fund will provide small businesses up to $50,000 in zero-interest loans that they can use to pay payroll, rent, utilities, inventory, and more. The loan will have a flexible repayment schedule, with terms determined on a case-by-case basis, based on each borrower’s ability to repay.


Your business must:

How to apply

You can find out more information about this fund and apply here.

City of Los Angeles Small Business Emergency Microloan Program

The City of Los Angeles has a newly established Small Business Emergency Microloan Program that provides financing for small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The emergency microloans under this program are between $5,000-$20,000, with three repayment options:


Your business must:

How to apply

Businesses that meet the criteria may apply online.

Statewide lending options for small businesses

CalCAP for Small Business

The California Capital Access Program for Small Business is designed to encourage banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that are facing difficulties. This is a loan loss reserve program that may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of defaults.

The maximum loan amount is $5 million, and the maximum enrolled amount is $2.5 million. Individual borrowers are limited to a maximum of $2.5 million enrolled over a 3-year period. The loans under this program can be used for land acquisition, construction or renovation of buildings, start-up costs, equipment or inventory purchases, capital projects, and working capital.


Your business must:

How to apply

If you meet the mentioned criteria, you can start the enrollment process by contacting a participating lender.

CA Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) finance programs

The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) supports small businesses, helps them create and retain jobs, and encourages investment through a Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee and a Jump Start Loan Program. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that the state is allocating $50 million to the IBank for loan guarantees to small businesses to help eliminate barriers to capital for individuals who do not qualify for federal funds, including low wealth and undocumented immigrant communities.

Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program

This disaster program provides loan guarantees of up to $1 million for small business borrowers. Loan proceeds can be used for rent, payroll, and other uses for business continuity. The loan can be guaranteed up to 7 years and cover up to 95% of the loan.


This program is intended for small businesses located in California with 1-750 employees that have been negatively impacted or experienced disruption by COVID-19 and eligible nonprofits.

How to apply

Qualifying small business owners may apply directly with a participating lender; you can find the list here.

Jump Start loan program

This program offers “microloans” from $500 to $10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster and emergency areas. Jump Start provides microloans, technical assistance, and financial literacy training. The loan term is up to 5 years.


This program is intended for small businesses located in California, businesses in underserved communities, and low net worth entrepreneurs.

How to apply

When this program becomes available, information on how to apply will be posted here.

Additional resources

There are some additional resources that can help California businesses adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, including:

Visit Stripe’s COVID-19 resources page for products, programs, and resources we are building to help your business adapt.