Alameda County small businesses are eligible for grant money to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the county and the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

The money for the grants was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and will come from American Rescue Plan funds.

The application period opened Oct. 10 and closes at the end of the month. Businesses are eligible if they have not already received American Rescue Plan Act funds from the county and have one to 25 employees.

One-time grants of $5,000 are available to home-based businesses and $10,000 is available to brick-and-mortar businesses. Priority will be given to businesses in “community resilience” priority ZIP codes and qualified census tracks.

Eleven million dollars has been allocated for the grant program with $1 million allocated for businesses in the unincorporated part of the county, county officials said.

Businesses must be licensed for-profit firms in the county and have suffered losses or increased costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds are limited. Not every business that applies is guaranteed help. A lottery will be used to choose recipients if the amount of money requested exceeds the available funding.

Grantees will receive their grant by check no later than Dec. 30. Business owners or managers who need help applying can get it through their local chamber of commerce. Help includes translation services.

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance offers more information about the grant program on its website.

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.