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Frequently Asked Questions

The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program to support California’s small businesses, especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state. Businesses with 50 full time employees (FTEs) or fewer and gross revenues of less than $5 million in 2019 are eligible to apply. A description of the loan terms are on the Loan Terms page. Full eligibility requirements are included on the Am I Eligible? page.

The fund is aimed at helping small businesses across every county and region of California and nearly all industries, particularly those located in economically disadvantaged and historically underserved areas.

To qualify, small businesses must have employed 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees prior to March 2020 and have realized gross revenues of less than $5 million in 2019, and must have suffered a direct economic hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Full eligibility requirements are on the Am I Eligible? page.

After you complete and submitted the online pre-application, if you meet the basic eligibility requirements, you will be matched with one or more community lenders. If you are matched with more than one lender, you will need to select the lender you want to work with. You will receive an email or call from the lender and begin the full loan application process.

If you are not eligible at this time, you will receive an email with contact information for an organization (“technical assistance provider”) that may be able help you.

Free local support can be found through a number of organizations.

Please see the Get Help section for full information.
The online pre-application should be completed and submitted by the owner of the business with the largest ownership interest. Any owner with more than 20% ownership will also be required to attest to the information provided.
The California Rebuilding Fund knows that your funding needs are urgent. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and the speed is dependent on the lender accessing the necessary documents to proceed. The pre-application is your first step to apply, but it is not the full application you will need to complete if you are matched with a community lender. If you are matched with a community lender, you will be invited to apply. Depending on the number of people applying, it may take several weeks to receive your invitation to complete a full application; however, once a completed full loan application is received, if approved, our lenders aim for 2-3 weeks from the date you complete your full loan application to funding an approved loan. To help speed things along, you can prepare in case you are matched with a lender. The list of materials you will need to gather is on our Get Started page (see “If you’re matched with a lender: How to prepare”) Need help? See “What if I need help completing my small business loan application?” above.

The maximum available loan amount is $100,000 or up to 100% of your business’ average monthly revenues for three months prior to the COVID pandemic outbreak (in 2019 or early 2020), whichever is less. The maximum loan amount available under this program is $100,000.

Example of how your maximum loan is calculated
To determine your business’s average monthly revenues for an estimate of potential loan size, the lender may use the following:

  • September 2019 Revenues: $10,000
  • October 2019 Revenues: $15,000
  • November 2019 Revenues: $20,000

Based on this example, the average revenues for the period is $15,000 so three-months of average revenues would be $45,000. In this example, the maximum loan size would be $45,000.

Please note: The actual size of the loan for which you may be approved will be determined by the lender after review of your business’s documentation and financial information. The amount of the loan for which you are ultimately approved may be less than the amount indicated by the example above. If the average monthly revenues for your business for the three-month period is greater than $100,000, the maximum loan size will be $100,000.

There are two different types of loans offered under this program: one with a 60-month repayment schedule, and the other with a 36-month repayment schedule. Your eligibility will depend on your financial qualifications, which will be determined by the lender.

60-Month (5 year) Term Loans
The repayment details of loans offered with a 60-month repayment schedule include:
  • For months 1 – 12: Interest-only payments; you will be making monthly payments only on the interest charged on the loan
  • For months 13 – 60: Principal and interest payments; your monthly payments will include interest and principal based on a 48-month fully amortizing schedule
For example*:
Assuming a fixed interest rate of 7.25%:
60 Month Loan Term
*Simple interest will be charged on the loan. For months 1-12, monthly interest-only payments are required. For months 13-60; principal and interest monthly payments are required based on a straight-line amortization over 48 months and assuming full repayment at 60 months. Final payment may differ. Payments are estimates for illustrative purposes only.

36-Month (3 year) Term Loans
The repayment details of loans offered with a 36-month repayment schedule include:
  • For months 1 – 12: Interest-only payments; you will be making monthly payments only on the interest charged on the loan
  • For months 13 – 36: Principal and interest payments; your monthly payments will include interest and principal based on a 24-month fully amortizing schedule
For example*:
Assuming a fixed interest rate of 6.50%:
36 Month Loan Term
*Simple interest will be charged on the loan. For months 1-12, monthly interest-only payments are required. For months 13-36; principal and interest monthly payments are required based on a straight-line amortization over 24 months and assuming full repayment at 36 months. Final payment may differ. Payments are estimates for illustrative purposes only.
You loan can be used for:
  • Working capital
  • Inventory
  • Marketing
  • Refitting for new social distancing guidelines
  • Operating and emergency maintenance
  • Working capital
  • Inventory
  • Marketing
  • Refitting for new social distancing guidelines
  • Operating and emergency maintenance
 

Proceeds may not be used for refinancing a loan from another community lender but may be used refinance high-cost debt.

You will be required to detail the proposed use of loan proceeds when you apply.

Businesses engaged in certain activities are not eligible. See Am I Eligible? page.

Participating community lenders are responsible for making their own credit decisions. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We recommend you apply as soon as possible. Due to a limited amount of funding currently available and the high volume of applications expected, we anticipate that not all eligible applicants may be able to receive a loan.

Yes. To be eligible, the main office or headquarters for your business must be in California. The loan must be used to support only a business’s California operations.
If you are matched with a community lender and work with them to submit a full loan application, you will need to gather the following:
  • Most recently filed federal tax returns (business and personal), if available and required by the lender;
  • Bank statements and/or internally generated financial statements or other proof of revenue (including year to date financial statements);
  • Schedule of ownership (name, address, SSN, EIN, or ITIN, phone number, email, percentage ownership, photo ID for any owners with more than 20% ownership);
  • Brief description of COVID-19 impacts on jobs and financial statements that show loss of revenue;
  • Evidence of legal formation and licenses of business entity (e.g., articles of incorporation and bylaws, local business licenses); and
  • Copy of lease agreement (if applicable)
  • Other documentation required by the community lender at or after the time of the application.

Please note: Additional documentation may be required by the community lender at or after the time of the application in order to approve or underwrite your loan.

Once these documents are received, the community lender will conduct any credit checks and finalize the application review process. If you need support accessing the required documentation, please contact 833-ASK-SBDC or loans@asksbdc.com or visit the Get Help section.

Businesses that are NOT eligible include, but are not limited to:
  • Firms engaged in activities that are prohibited by federal law or applicable law in the jurisdiction where the business is located or conducted
  • Business engaged in speculative activities that develop profits from fluctuations in price rather than through the normal course of trade
  • Facilities primarily used for gambling or to facilitate gambling
  • Businesses or firms engaged primarily in lobbying activities
  • Passive real estate investments
No specific collateral is required to be eligible (e.g., you do not need to have access to any specific real estate or equipment). Please note that this program requires a blanket first or second lien on business assets will be filed by the community lender and any owners with more than 20% ownership must sign a personal guarantee.

The online loan process is highly secure. We go above and beyond to protect your sensitive information. The platform uses TDE (Transparent Data Encryption) in SQL (Structured Query Language), which means the data is encrypted. It also encrypts the data between the app server and the database and uses TLS (Transport Layer Security), which protects communications on the internet, for form submissions.

Your information will be used solely for the purposes of the loan program. Among other things, this means that your information may be used in connection with a sale or transfer of your loan, other transactions involving the loan, related research and impact reporting.

The online pre-application can be completed in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Korean. Some community lenders also offer help in various languages (see table below).

If you need help with your pre-application in a language other than English or Spanish, please contact the California Small Business Development Centers at 833-ASK-SBDC or loans@asksbdc.com.

Community LenderLanguages Available
3CoreEnglish, Spanish
Access Plus CapitalEnglish, Spanish
AccessityEnglish, Spanish
CDC Small Business FinanceEnglish, Spanish
Fondo AdelanteEnglish, Spanish
ICAEnglish, Spanish, Tagalog, Japanese, Portuguese
Main Street LaunchEnglish, Spanish
NAACEnglish, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Thai, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi, and Khmer
Pacific Community VenturesEnglish, Spanish
Accion Opportunity FundEnglish, Spanish
Working SolutionsEnglish, Spanish
1. Complete the easy pre-application
  • Will not affect your credit (This is not a “hard pull”)
  • Need Help?

2. If you are eligible, you will get matched with one or more community lenders. If you are not eligible at this time, you will receive contact information for an organization (“technical assistance provider”) that may be able to help you.

3. Select the community lender you would like to work with and complete your application.
Loans will be made available through local community lenders (Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs); currently there are 12 participating lenders, including:
  • 3Core
  • Access + Capital
  • Accessity
  • CDC Small Business Finance
  • ICA
  • Main Street Launch
  • Fondo Adelante
  • National Asian American Coalition
  • Opportunity Fund
  • PACE
  • Pacific Community Ventures
  • Working Solutions

Loans may include minimal third-party fees up to a maximum of $250 such as UCC filing fees or wiring fees, for example.

Please note: If you receive a loan, but do not make your loan payment on time, a late fee may be assessed by your lender. You will be shown any fees associated with the loan prior to your acceptance of any loan terms.

If each business is a separate legal entity, has a separate tax ID and all affiliated businesses combined employed 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees prior to March 2020, then you can apply for each of the businesses. Each business must meet all eligibility requirements.

Yes, however, please be aware that the approval parameters for the participating lenders are largely identical. Please do not apply to a second community lender unless your loan has been rejected by the first lender.

NO, THIS IS NOT A FORGIVABLE LOAN. If you receive a loan, you will need to pay back the full amount of the loan with interest over a 3- or 5-year term. Please see the Loan Terms for the full set of terms.
If you do not make a loan payment on time, you may be assessed a late fee by your lender per their respective policies. A failure to pay also can result in the loan being declared in default and the lender’s exercise of its default remedies under the loan documents. Please review the full terms of your loan agreement for additional details regarding default.

Get Help

The following business support organizations have the tools to help you understand and apply for a loan from the California Rebuilding Fund program.

Venturize

Venturize is a free online resource hub for small business owners like you who need help accessing tools and resources to grow their businesses. Managed by nonprofit organization Small Business Majority, Venturize offers unbiased education and resources about small business loans, retirement and healthcare to empower entrepreneurs to make the best financial decisions for their business. We also help small businesses get connected to trusted local providers that can help their enterprises grow

CAMEO

CAMEO is California’s statewide micro-business network made up of over 300 organizations, agencies, and individuals dedicated to furthering Small Business development in California with small and micro-business financing such as loans and credit, technical assistance and business management training. CAMEO members serve very small businesses with free training, business and credit assistance and loans with the goal that all entrepreneurs have access to the resources they need to succeed, creating family economic mobility and community prosperity. Click here to connect with the right resource partner for you.

Pacific Community Ventures

Do you have questions about things like finance, marketing, operations, sales, pivoting your business due to COVID, employee engagement, adding benefits, or challenges like reopening safely for workers and customers? Pacific Community Ventures’ BusinessAdvising.org platform connects small business owners like you with expert advisors who help you meet your challenges and seize new opportunities. Pacific Community Ventures put volunteerism to work for local communities by managing a national network of thousands of seasoned entrepreneurs, skilled professionals, and senior leaders from major banks, consulting firms, and bigger companies who want to use their hard-earned business knowhow to help small businesses. All advice is completely free and completely confidential. Companies working with PCV increase their annual revenue by 20% on average.

California Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program is an extensive network of forty-five small business service centers leading the charge in providing the tools and guidance needed to help you realize your potential as an entrepreneur. The California SBDC is devoted to helping all industries and all levels of businesses with access to capital, human resources, marketing/social media, e-commerce, accounting, pivoting strategies, or any other business need. Recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve assisted businesses in acquiring a variety of funding options, lease negotiations, pivoting strategies, cash flow management, and getting set up online for eCommerce. SBDC is your partner for success and thanks to State and Federal funding, it all comes at no cost to you. Call or email the SBDCs for help at 833-ASK-SBDC or loans@asksbdc.com. Learn more about the California SBDC at https://www.californiasbdc.org.

California's Women's Business Center

California WBCs work to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunities for women by supporting and sustaining a statewide network of 14 Women’s Business Centers (WBC). WBCs help women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development, and financing opportunities to over 16,000 women entrepreneurs each year. http://californiawbc.org/