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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Small Business Grant Questions

Nonprofit Grant Questions

FAQ in Spanish

General 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 20% 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.

How much funding is available through the Placer Shares Grant Program? 

The Placer County Board of Supervisors has allocated $8 million for this grant funding program. $7 million will be available in the form of grants for small businesses through Sierra Business Council. Placer Community Foundation will administer a $675,000 grant process for nonprofits in western Placer County (Emigrant Gap to Roseville), while Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation will administer a $225,000 grant process for nonprofits in eastern Placer County (Soda Springs to the eastern county border).

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 on September 7, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST.

What can I do to prepare?

Organizations can utilize our Application Checklist for Businesses or Application Checklist for Nonprofits to begin gathering necessary information and documents. 

What are the eligibility criteria? 

You can see the eligibility criteria at www.placer.ca.gov/shares/eligibility.



Small Business Grant Questions

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.

When does the application open?

The application period opens on August 25, 2020. This is NOT a “first come, first served” program, so you can complete your application at any time before the deadline. You can save your in-progress application, so it does not need to be completed in one sitting. Please take your time to complete the application. Incomplete applications will NOT be accepted.

What’s the deadline to apply?

No applications will be accepted after the deadline of 11:59 PM Pacific Time on September 7, 2020. There will be no exceptions.

This is NOT a “first come first served” program, so you can complete your application any time before the deadline. 

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 or nonprofit organization. Am I allowed to submit an application for each business/nonprofit I own if they meet the qualifications?

No, you may only apply one time even if you own, co-own, or operate multiple businesses or nonprofits. Only one business/nonprofit 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: https://www.naics.com/search/.

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

Who makes the decision about the status of my application?

All eligible applications for each Priority Group will be treated equally based on the criteria as outlined in the Final Protocol. To read more about the selection process, please see the Selection and Distribution Protocol for the Placer Shares Grant Program. (In development)

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 between August 25, 2020 and September 7, 2020 at 11:59pm Pacific Time 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 during the first week of October 2020. Checks will be mailed the week of October 5-9 2020. 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 $5000 for businesses with 9 or fewer employees, or $10,000 for businesses with 10 or more employees.

Eligible nonprofits can receive up to $10,000 depending on the organization’s revenue size and demonstrated need. 

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?

No.

Will there be more grants available in the future?

At this point in time, no additional grant cycles are planned for the Placer Shares Grant Program.

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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Nonprofit Grant Questions

How much funding is available through the Placer Shares Grant Program? 

The Placer County Board of Supervisors has allocated $8 million for this grant funding program, $1 million of which is allocated to the nonprofit sector with a total of $900,000 available for grants net of processing fees.  Placer Community Foundation will administer a $675,000 grant process for western Placer County (Emigrant Gap to Roseville), while Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation will administer a $225,000 grant process for eastern Placer County (Soda Springs to the eastern county border).

What are the sizes of the awards?

Eligible nonprofit organizations may receive up to either $5,000 or $10,000. Awards for nonprofits will be based on the organization’s revenue size and demonstrated need. Nonprofits with an annual revenue amount pre-COVID of $100,000 or less are eligible for up to $5,000. Nonprofits with an annual revenue amount pre-COVID of $100,001 or more are eligible for up to  $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 between March 1 - December 30, 2020. 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. All qualified applicants will be considered together once the application period is closed and prioritized based on the priority matrix.

What are the eligibility criteria? 

There are several requirements that nonprofits must meet in order to be eligible to apply for a grant. If you go through the eligibility screening process, it will determine whether or not your nonprofit organization may apply. See the eligibility criteria here.

Can I apply if I received funds from PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) or the SBA (Small Business Administration) Disaster Relief program?

Yes, but while the amount of funds received from these programs may be considered, they will not automatically disqualify you.

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. 

Applying for the Grant

When does the application open?

The application period opens on August 25, 2020. This is NOT a “first come first served” program, so you can complete your application any time before the deadline. You can save your in-progress application, so it does not need to be completed in one sitting. Please take your time to complete the application. Incomplete applications will NOT be accepted.

What’s the deadline to apply?

No applications will be accepted after the deadline of 11:59 PM Pacific Time on September 7, 2020. There will be no exceptions. This is NOT a “first come first served” program, so you can complete your application any time before the deadline.

Does the application save once I have started it?

For Western slope (Emigrant Gap to Roseville) nonprofits: Click the “save” button on the bottom of the application form periodically.

For Eastern slope (Soda Springs to the eastern county border) nonprofits: Your work is auto-saved as you go, but you must click “Submit” when finished. No changes are possible once the application is submitted, so make sure you have reviewed your application for accuracy before submitting.

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.

How can I get help with my application?

For Western slope (Emigrant Gap to Roseville) nonprofits: 
August 27 at 10 am - Applicant Workshop for Nonprofits on Zoom (this session will be recorded): Register here

For Eastern slope (Soda Springs to the eastern county border) nonprofits:
August 27 at 10 am - Applicant Workshop for Nonprofits on Zoom (this session will be recorded): Register here 

If my nonprofit organization 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 here. 

What documentation will I need to submit my application?

Please upload:

  1.  A completed W-9 form: Available here
  2. IRS determination letter verifying your organization’s tax-exempt status
  3. Current operating budget 

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. 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. 

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. 

If I need a copy of my IRS Determination Letter, where do I go?

Call the IRS Customer Service for nonprofit organizations at 1-877-829-5500 and give them your corporate name (and EIN if you have it). 

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

You will need to attest that your nonprofit was in operation by clicking the box on the application. 

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

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

If my 501(c)(3) nonprofit operates a revenue-generating business (such as a theater, thrift store, or social enterprise), should I apply as a nonprofit or business?

You should apply as a nonprofit, according to your main geographic location: western Placer County (Emigrant Gap to Roseville) or eastern Placer County (Soda Springs to the eastern county border).

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 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

Who makes the decision about the status of my application?

All eligible applications for each priority group will be considered for funding. For western slope nonprofits, this will be completed by Placer Community Foundation. For eastern slope nonprofits, this will be completed by Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.  

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 and prioritized based on:

Priority 1:

  • 501(c)(3) safety-net nonprofit organizations (such as hunger relief, mental health services, senior care, child-care, housing assistance, family and individual interventions.)
  • 501(c)(6) broad-based business assistance organizations (such as chambers of commerce, downtown associations)

Priority 2: 

  • All other eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofits
  • All other eligible 501(c)(6) nonprofits (such as business sector specific membership organizations)

How will applications be selected to receive funding?

All applications received between August 25, 2020 and September 7, 2020 at 11:59pm Pacific Time WILL be considered. This is NOT a “first come first served” program.

Receiving Grant Funds

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

You will be notified by email during the first week of October 2020. Checks will be mailed the week of October 5-9 2020. Be sure to check your email regularly, including your spam folders.

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

Eligible nonprofit organizations may receive up to either $5,000 or $10,000. Awards for nonprofits will be based on the organization’s revenue size and demonstrated need. Nonprofits with an annual revenue amount pre-COVID of $100,000 or less are eligible for up to $5,000. Nonprofits with an annual revenue amount pre-COVID of $100,001 or more are eligible for up to  $10,000.

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?

No.

Using Grant Funding

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

Grant award funds must be used for expenses related to Covid-19 hardship between March 1 and December 30, 2020. This includes, but is not limited to: loss of fundraising or revenue sources, increase in staff, expenditures to meet growing community demand, expenditures to change business operations, payroll, rent, supplies, employee benefits, or other general expenses. 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 transferrable. The application will ask you to attest “I understand that this grant is subject to reporting requirements determined by the County of Placer. If I become a grant recipient, and if requested by the Foundation, I agree to furnish reports which can be used to verify use of grant funds.”

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

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

For Western slope (Emigrant Gap to Roseville) nonprofits:
Call the Placer Community Foundation office at (530) 885-4920.

For Eastern slope (Soda Springs to the eastern county border) nonprofits:
Call the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation office at (530) 587-1776.

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