BAKERSFIELD – May 26, Kern County began accepting applications for their small business forgivable loan program – Kern Recovers. The program seeks to provide relief to small businesses that have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19.

Kern County’s Chief Operations Officer Jim Zervis said, “We recognize that our local small businesses have been hit extremely hard by COVID-19 and our goal is to help alleviate some of that strain where possible. We’re proud to roll this program out today and our goal is to get funding to businesses as quickly as possible while maintaining an appropriate level of transparency and accountability.” 

Kern Recovers is funded through the $157 million in CARES Act funding the County received, and more specifically the Coronavirus Relief Fund. During the May 19th Board meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved a $25 million funding allocation to this program. To bring this program to local businesses, Kern County is working with four local Partner Financial Institutions to process the applications: Mission Bank, Valley Republic Bank, Valley Strong Credit Union and AltaOne Federal Credit Union.

Small businesses will be eligible for up to $75,000 in forgivable loans. Approved funding must be used for 34% of loan amount for payroll, up to 33% of loan amount for rent/utilities/mortgage interest, and up to 33% of loan amount for general working capital.

Borrowers will apply though one of the four Partner Financial Institutions and Kern County is now accepting applications from Small Business owners that meet the following criteria:

fewer than 50 employees

less than $5 million in annual revenue

physically located in Kern County

at least one FTE, 2 PTE or 50% of owners live in Kern

There are some additional requirements that can be found online through the application process at Kerncounty.com/government/kern-recovers.

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