While we certainly recognize that home-based businesses have suffered losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, in light of the limited funding that we have available, the grant program was designed to help those who have been the most severely impacted. With $4.75 million available, the City will only have the ability to provide grants to approximately 700-800 businesses. Of note, there are over 8,000 eligible businesses in Huntington Beach that rent or own commercial or industrial spaces.
Given the COVID-19 situation, those businesses with physical commercial / industrial locations were more likely to be forced to shut their doors, while still needing to pay all overhead expenses for their business (including rent, mortgage, and utility costs, in addition to their own living expenses). Home-based businesses, while also impacted by COVID-19, did not have as much overhead cost exposure, and were not necessarily forced to shut down their business. Those factors are primary reasons why the City’s program was designed to focus on providing support for those businesses with physical commercial and / or industrial locations.
In addition, based on discussions with industry representatives, nearly all Orange County agencies are not providing CARES Act grant dollars to home-based businesses. However, other forms of business aid have not had this restriction on home-based businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which are still accepting applications.