Downtown El Cajon. Photo by Chris Stone

The City of El Cajon announced Tuesday it has awarded $2.5 million in grants to 134 small businesses to help them make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city grant program, funded by federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds, was open to both essential and non-essential businesses, as well as restaurants.

Grant recipients were eligible for various award amounts, with maximums ranging from $10,000 for restaurants, $15,000 for essential businesses, and up to $30,000 for non-essential businesses, which were forced to fully close when the stay-at-home orders took effect in March.

A total of 57 nonessential businesses, 57 essential businesses and 20 restaurants were awarded funds.

“The impact of this grant (program) will provide an economic stimulus to support local small businesses which have suffered the greatest due to the pandemic,” said El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell.

A committee made up of local business and community leaders assisted in selecting the grant recipients, which were all required to meet a set of minimum qualifications set by the El Cajon City Council.

— City News Service

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