Grants Available

The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest challenges our community has ever face. The Regional Economic Sustainability Through Actionable Response to Threats (RESTART) is designed to preserve at-risk small and microbusinesses from closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus arrived in the Central Valley at a time when FMBCF and other area leaders were already organizing to overcome the devastating impact of generations of chronic economic distress and racial disparity. In a short time, the pandemic has exacerbated that distress and illuminated the urgent and critical needs of small and microbusinesses owned by women & people of color. While we do not know the full extent of the crisis' impact, we can be certain that it will disproportionately affect our most vulnerable, making the implementation of initiatives to counteract economic threats more urgent now than ever before.

RESTART will provide direct grants to small and microbusinesses that have suffered economic loss due to COVID-19. The grants will be made to businesses that have been in existence for 1 year+ with under 25 employees. Recipients will agree to stay in business through the end of 2020 and participate in the RESTART Technical Assistance program; undergo Business Assessment & Review (BAR) and create a Technical Assistance Plan (TAP). Priority will be given to FMBCC members, people of color, women, and formerly incarcerated business owners in Fresno's disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Grant funding is made possible by the Central Valley Community Foundation and the US Chamber of Commerce. Starting on June 17th, Fresno's small businesses will be able to apply for up to $3,000 in grant funding to help cover business-related expenses. The application window will close at 11:59 pm on July 16th.


Businesses must have a physical address within the city of Fresno area. 
Grants may be applied retroactively for expenses already incurred by the business. Projects may be backdated as far as March 16th, 2020 with appropriate documentation.

  • Governmental organizations are ineligible to apply

  • Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply

  • Black-owned business enterprises are encouraged to apply

  • Businesses that have contributed to public health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply

  • Businesses that have been unable to access funding through SBA EIDL loan/PPP programs or City of Fresno SOS grant programs are encouraged to apply

  • Businesses that are FMBCC members are encouraged to apply

  • Restaurants and retail businesses are encouraged to apply

What can the money be used for?

Because of the diverse mix of businesses in Fresno, the parameters of what grant funds may be used for is intentionally broad. Uses for the grant funds include, but are not limited to normal operating expenses including:

  • Inventory

  • Rent

  • Utilities

  • Payroll

  • Etc.


What can the money not be used for?

  • Non-business-related expenses

  • Expansion of current business

  • Expenses incurred after March 18th, 2020

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Does the grant help address an immediate need caused by the COVID-19 crisis?

  • Will grant funds be spent locally?

  • To what degree has the applicant’s business been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit the following;

  • Invoice or purchase order for goods and services purchased for the business including date of purchase (if applicable)

  • Complete Application Form

  • Gmail account to access application form upload functions

  • Estimated financial lost due to crisis including % of total revenue pre-COVID

  • Inventory breakdown of physical losses

  • Number of employees currently on payroll

  • A detailed outline of how RESTART grant funds will be allocated if received

  • Agreement from businesses who receives funds to remain operational through 2020

  • Proof of Participation in COVID-19 Study of Impact on African Americans in Fresno area

If you need help submitting your application, please contact


The Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce is a locally-based membership organization with a global reach advancing the interests of the greater African-American business community.


1444 Fulton Street

Ste. 206

 Fresno, CA 93721


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