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The city of Bakersfield is continuing its effort to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, partnering with Access Plus Capital to make financial support available to micro-enterprises within city limits.

According to a news release from the city, the Micro-enterprise ReSTART Grant Program will provide $70,000 in grants ranging from $3,500 to $5,000 for qualified micro-enterprises, defined as having five or fewer full-time employees.

Online applications for the ReSTART Grant Program open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the city said. Grants are expected to be awarded to approved businesses by March 19. Businesses interested in applying should visit accesspluscapital.com and click on “COVID-19 Relief Funds.”

The city said that these grants can be used for working capital, including paying payroll costs such as employee vacation, family or sick leave, as well as insurance, rent, supplies or materials, and utilities.

The news release stated that the grants will target businesses that have not previously received other disaster relief funding from initiatives such as the Paycheck Protection Program, a Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loan or a grant from the City of Bakersfield's B-CARES program.

The Microenterprise ReSTART Grant Program will be funded by Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus funds, the city said.