By CBSLA Staff

This article was originally published on February 3, 2021.

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Small business owners are being urged to apply soon for a micro-grant of as much as $25,000.

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The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is aimed at allocating $500 million to small businesses and nonprofits hit hard by the pandemic and the related health and safety restrictions. This latest round of applications opened Tuesday and closes on Monday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

The micro-grant, which does not have to be paid back, is ideal for small businesses like Dr. J’s Cleaners in Sherman Oaks. Owner David Danielyan said he’s had to cut his workforce after being down nearly 90% at one point.

“You kinda have to find your way into it, find your way back into it, get as much info as possible to make sure you’re doing everything correctly in order to make sure so you don’t miss the deadline,” he said.

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Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger tweeted a reminder to make sure that other small business owners were aware of the program.

Grant recipients will have to use the funds to cover pandemic-related costs like payroll, overhead and making changes to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. The good news is, because it’s a grant — it does not have to be paid back.

Danielyan said when dining stopped, the demand for dry cleaning dropped off sharply. But even as his business continues to struggle, he’s hoping to build upon the recovery momentum he is starting to see.

“The restaurants are back up outdoor dining at least, salons and barber shops and whatnot, and that makes me feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

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To apply, go to