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Frequently Asked Questions

Where does this money come from?

Placer County has received funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The County Board of Supervisors decided to distribute a significant percentage of the funding to local businesses and nonprofit organizations that have been hard-hit by the pandemic and associated shutdowns. This grant program will distribute those funds.

What are the sizes of the awards?

Eligible businesses may receive either $5,000 or $10,000, depending on the size of the business/organization. Home-based businesses OR businesses with 9 or fewer employees (part-time and full time - NOT Independent contractors) are eligible for $5,000. Businesses with 10 or more employees are eligible for $10,000.

Will I need to pay the money back? Is this a grant program or a loan program?

This is a grant program, not a loan, so you will not need to pay the money back. The only exception is if you do not use all the funds, or if you do not use them in the manner stated on your application.  

What can funds be spent on?

Per the CARES act, funds must be spent on expenses that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns OR that are unpaid as a result of economic hardship imposed by business-related mandated shutdowns. Examples include: payroll, rent for your business location, inventory, utilities. During the application process, you will be asked to verify that funds will be used for eligible purposes.

Are funds allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified applicants?

No. No applications will be considered until the application period has closed.

What can I do to prepare?

Organizations can utilize our application assistance page to begin gathering necessary information and documents. 

What are the eligibility criteria? 

You can see the eligibility criteria at

Small Business Grant Questions

Can I apply if I was already approved for $5,000 or $10,000 from the first round of Placer Shares funding?

No. Business owners are only eligible for one Placer Shares Grant regardless of how many businesses they own. This round of funding is only available to businesses that have not yet been approved for any funding from Placer Shares.

Can I apply if I received funds from another business relief program, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or City of Roseville CDBG?

Businesses can apply if they received a PPP, EIDL, or City of Roseville CDBG loan in an amount less than $150,000. If you received more than $150,000 from the PPP or EIDL, you are NOT eligible. 

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

No, you do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply. 

Do I need a bank account to apply?

No, you do not need a bank account to apply. If you are selected to receive funds, a check will be mailed to you at the address on your application.

How do I calculate my business’s gross revenue for 2019?

Gross revenue (also known as Gross Receipts or Sales) for 2019 should be listed on line 1 of the tax return or schedule you normally file to report your business income for federal tax purposes.

Click here for more information on gross revenue.

Do I have to fill out the application online? Can I submit my application via mail or in person?

All applications must be filled out online. No physical applications will be accepted. Applications can be filled out with a mobile phone. If you need help accessing a computer with Internet access, please visit your local library for free access.

I own/operate more than one business. Am I allowed to submit an application for each business I own if they meet the qualifications?

No, you may only apply one time even if you own, co-own, or operate multiple businesses. Only one business will be eligible.

If my business is declined, may I reapply?

You may not reapply if your application is declined. Please make sure you complete the application accurately and completely. A decline will likely be for ineligibility or incomplete applications. Please see eligibility information above.

What documentation will I need to submit my application?

For Businesses, please upload ONE item for each of the following THREE categories to support your application and verify that your business is legitimate.

1. Business Verification / Financial statement. Please upload ONLY ONE of these items:

  1. A recent Profit and Loss statement OR 
  2. A business tax return (Schedule C, Form 990, etc.) OR 
  3. The front page of a business bank statement OR
  4. Copy of Business License

2. REQUIRED tax form for Grant award. Completing this form ensures that grant awards will be processed and mailed more quickly. Awards can not be disbursed without the W-9 and any application without a W-9 will be deemed incomplete.   Please upload:

  1.  A completed W-9 form:
    1. Available here in English
    2. Disponible aquí en español

3. ID verification. To verify your identity, please upload:

  1. A photo, screenshot, or scanned copy of a Real ID OR 
  2. A photo, screenshot, or scanned copy of a driver’s license to verify your identity

 Why do I need to fill out a W-9?

The County is required to report CARES Act funding information to the United States Treasury at the end of the year, which is done using W-9 forms. Filling out a W-9 now will help us send out checks more quickly to successful applicants. No funds will be disbursed without a W-9 and applications will be deemed incomplete without the W-9.

Why are you asking for a business financial statement or tax return?

Your financial statements or tax return allow us to verify that your business was active in the County prior to the effective date. 

How do I upload the required documents?

When you get to the upload part of the application, you can search your device for the document you need, and then upload it. 

Do I need to submit all the documents? What if I don’t have all the documents that I need to apply?

You must submit ALL the required documents. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Where can I find the documents I need to apply?

Financial statement: If you do not have a recent Profit and Loss statement or business tax return in your business records, you can contact your bank for a recent bank statement.

Grant award paperworkFollow the links to fill out a W-9 form in English or in Spanish.

ID verification: You can use your phone or a scanner to create a copy of your driver’s license or Real ID.

Where can I get a copy of my business license?

Business license: If your business is located within the city limits of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin or Roseville, please click on the appropriate link above to contact your city’s business office to request a copy of your business license. 

 If your business is not located in one of these cities, please contact Placer County’s business office to request a copy of your business license.

How do I identify which industry sector my business is in?

To help you, the application contains a dropdown list of industry sectors.  

These industry sectors are based on the NAICS system, which is used to classify businesses. For further information, please visit:

How can I prove my business was in operation prior to March 1, 2020?

You will need to attest that your business or nonprofit was in operation by clicking the box on the application. You can also submit your bank statement with the relevant dates and activity. 

What if I have multiple locations for a single business, which address should I use?

Please select what you might consider the “primary” business or nonprofit location. 

What if I accidentally made a mistake or entered incorrect information on my application? 

You can save and edit your application until you submit it. You do not need to complete it all in one sitting. Please take your time on your application and do not submit it until you are sure it is complete and correct. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

What do I do if I need a W-9?

You can click to fill out a blank W-9 Form in English or in Spanish.

What is the definition of a woman-, veteran- or minority-owned business?

  • For woman-owned: Be at least 51% directly owned and controlled by one or more women.
  • For veteran-owned: Be at least 51% directly owned and controlled by one or more veterans.
  • For minority-owned: To be certified as a minority-owned business, your company must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a minimum of one owner whose racial or ethnic background is Asian Indian, Asian Pacific, Black, Native American or Hispanic, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration 8A program for Disadvantaged Businesses (see 13 CFR §124.103). To read more, please click here.

Do applicants receive a confirmation that they submitted their application?

Yes, you will receive a confirmation email upon submission of your application.

Selection Process

Are funds allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified applicants?

No. All qualified applicants will be considered together once the application period is closed. The selection process will be conducted by way of an electronic lottery

How will applications be selected to receive funding?

All applications received WILL be considered. This is NOT a “first come first served” program. 

All eligible Priority One applicants will be entered in a lottery to randomly select grant awardees.

If funds remain after all eligible Priority One applicants have been awarded grants, the allocation process will consider eligible Priority Two applicants. 

Click here to see the priority matrix.

Receiving Grant Funds

How will I be contacted or know if I will receive a grant?

You will be notified by email. Be sure to check your email regularly, including your spam folders. Emails to all applications will come from [email protected].

Will I be contacted if I do not receive a grant?

Yes, you will be notified by email whether or not you receive a grant.

If I am selected to receive a grant, how much money will I get?

Depending on the size of your business and what industry you are in, grants will be for $5,000 for businesses with 9 or fewer employees, or $10,000 for businesses with 10 or more employees.

How will I receive funds?

A paper check will be sent to the address on your application. 

Am I required to set up a new bank account specifically for these funds?


Is my small business taxed on this grant?

The Placer Shares Grant Program cannot provide tax advice to those who receive payments. The administrators recommend that claimants consult with personal tax advisors for any questions regarding tax liability for these payments. Any taxes associated with accepting or using the grant funds are the responsibility of the awardee.

Using Grant Funding

If my business receives a grant, what can I use the money for? What can’t I use the money for?

Grant award funds should be used for business and operating expenses related to Covid-19 hardship. This includes: payroll, rent, inventory, employee benefits or working capital. You will be asked to attest to the use of the funds in your application. 

What’s required of me if I receive a grant? Are there any strings attached?

If selected, you must use these funds by December 30, 2020. Funds may not be used for a different business or personal expenses. Funding is not transferable. 

Do I have to pay the money back, like a loan?

No. The funds you receive are a grant, not a loan, and do not need to be paid back.

How soon must I use these funds?

If selected, you must use these funds by December 30, 2020, and they may not be used for a different business or nonprofit organization. Funding is not transferable. 

Other Questions

My business is struggling, I need help. Where can I go?

You should contact the Sierra Small Business Development Center for free business counseling by sending an email to [email protected].

If I have questions after reading this FAQ, what do I do?

You can call our hotline for assistance at 530-582-5022.

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