City of Long Beach
Nonprofit Relief Grant

The Nonprofit Relief Program is made possible by the Long Beach Recovery Act to help nonprofits that have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 to stabilize and recover. The Nonprofit Relief Grant will provide direct financial relief to Long Beach nonprofits

Grant Amount: Grants range from $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and up to $25,000. Funding levels will be determined by gross revenue. 

General Timeline

• Grant applications will be open for 60 days and are available from 11:00 AM PDT March 16, 2022, until 8:00 PM PDT June 15, 2022.

• The City will begin to review and award grant applications on April 15th, so Nonprofits are encouraged to apply early.

• Grant awards will start to be issued after April 15, 2022. It could take up to 3 to 4 weeks for a grantee to receive funds

• Nonprofits have until July 15, 2022 to secure a City of Long Beach business license to be eligible for this grant.

The City of Long Beach Nonprofit Relief Grant application window has been extended through June 15 2022!


Are you new to FORWARD?
Click Here to get access.

How to Apply

You will need to set up an account to apply online.

Long Beach has partnered with LiveStories/FORWARD to manage the application process and distribute awards.

To access the online application form, you will need to set up an account in FORWARD.

On the login page, click on the link to "Create business, non-profit  account" You will be prompted to register for an account; the prompt will ask for your Business/Organization name and email address. 

Once you have entered your information, FORWARD will send an email to create a secure password. After you set your password, login and start the application process. Please check your SPAM/Junk folder if you don’t receive the email.

We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari as browsers.

If your application is successful, you will be notified by email. At that point, you will receive a Grant Agreement to sign and you will be asked if you would like to receive the funds via ACH direct deposit or paper check. For a paper check, you will have to provide the address that you would like to receive your paper check; in most cases, the address you have provided on your W-9 will be utilized. For ACH, you will have to provide a voided check with the account and routing numbers on it.

Grant payments will be made in April-June.

Please note: Communications about the application and award will come by email from forward-notification@livestories.com. Please make sure to check your spam folders as the award emails will come from LiveStories/FORWARD on behalf of The City of Long Beach. Please be sure to monitor your email, including Junk or "spam" folders.

Eligibility Requirements

Nonprofits:

1. Must be located and operating within the boundaries of Long Beach, California (address cannot be a PO Box or an address that leads to a Shipping Center as their physical location)
2. Must have a City of Long Beach business license. The business must hold an active or delinquent license. Businesses that have closed or cancelled their licenses are not eligible for the program.
3. Must be a 501c3 nonprofit, 501c19 nonprofit, or fiscally sponsored organization
4. Must have experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions, such as nonprofit interruptions or closures incurred due to the pandemic
5. Must be currently open and active for business
6. Must have active status with the California Secretary of State
7. Have less than 200 employees
8. Earn no more than $2 million in annual revenue based on most recent available 990 Form (2019 or 2020) (line 12 on 990 Form)
9. Nonprofits that are to receive funding from the City’s Long Beach Recovery Act Creative Economy Grant will be placed on a waitlist and be eligible for funding if funding remains once the grant application has closed.

NOTE: U.S. Citizenship is not required for this program, and non US citizens are encouraged to apply. Fiscally sponsored organizations are also eligible and are encouraged to apply. 

Required Documents:

• Nonprofit Bylaws
• Latest Tax Returns (2021 if completed or 2020) Form 990
• Articles of Incorporation
Copy of fiscal sponsorship agreement (If applicable)
Copy of photo ID for person completing application (to verify identity. Examples of eligible forms of ID include the following:
      Valid Driver’s License
      Birth Certificate
      State-issued Identification Card
      Student Identification Card
      Military Identification Card
      Passport or Passport Card
Completed W-9

How to Create an account in FORWARD

Nonprofit Relief Grant Frequently Asked Questions

General

What if my nonprofit does not have a business license?

Long Beach requires each business to possess an  active business license. This requirement extends to nonprofits as well as for profit businesses. Your nonprofit will have until July 15th to provide an active City of Long Beach business license to remain eligible for this grant. 

My nonprofit has a fiscal sponsor, which business license do I need to provide?

If your nonprofit has a fiscal sponsor, you will need to provide the business license for your nonprofit, as well as the business license for your fiscal sponsor. 

How will the applications be reviewed?

The City of Long Beach is prioritizing the equitable distribution of resources for Long Beach Recovery Act small business and nonprofit relief programs. All applications will be scored using a weighted-selection process to prioritize resources for nonprofits that provide important social safety net services, serve BIPOC communities, are led by BIPOC leaders, and serve areas of the city highly-impacted by COVID-19 hospitalization rates. 

How long will I have to apply once the application portal opens?

Grant applications will be open for 60 days and are available from 11:00 a.m. March 16, 2022, until 8:00 p.m. June 15, 2022. The City will begin to review and award grant applications on April 15th, so nonprofits are encouraged to apply early. Grant awards will be issued after April 15, 2022. It could take up to 3 to 4 weeks for a grantee to receive funds.

Are certain nonprofits ineligible for assistance?

Yes, the following nonprofits are not eligible for these programs:

1. Nonprofits that are permanently closed
2. Nonprofits that do not have active status with the California Secretary of State
3. Government entities or elected offices
4. Churches and other religious organizations

Are fiscally sponsored organizations and non US citizens eligible? 

Yes! Fiscally sponsored organizations are eligible, and US citizenship is not required for this program. 

Is this grant program first come, first served?

No. The City of Long Beach is prioritizing the equitable distribution of resources for Long Beach Recovery Act small business and nonprofit relief programs. All applications will be scored using a weighted-selection process to prioritize resources for nonprofits that provide important social safety net services, serve BIPOC communities, are led by BIPOC leaders, and serve areas of the city highly-impacted by COVID-19 hospitalization rates.

Financial assistance will be provided to eligible nonprofits with final award recommendations based on the availability of funds, program guidelines, and the submission of all required information and supporting documentation.

Are there restrictions to the way the funds can be used?

Uses of Funds: Grant funds may only be used for allowable expenses incurred on or after March 3, 2021.

Grant recipients will be required to attest to their intent to use grant funding for the following eligible uses:

1. Commercial rent
2. Payroll
3. Utilities (e.g., commercial electric or gas bills, internet, etc.)
4. Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., facemasks, hand sanitizer, face shields, etc.)
5. Furniture, fixtures, equipment
6. Technology hardware and digital resources
7. Marketing
8. Costs associated with delivering programs
9. Repairs and expenses related to theft/vandalism/property damage

Are there Linguistic/Translation services available?

Our online application can be translated to any of the 68 languages we have provided. If you need assistance completing the grant application, please contact the City's BizCare hotline at (562) 570-4249. 

Applying

How do I apply?

After reading the eligibility guidelines carefully, click the Apply button which will be active from 11:00 a.m. PDT March 16, 2022, until 8:00 p.m. PDT June 15, 2022.

Step 1: Create a FORWARD account. On the login page, click on the link to "Create business, non-profit account." You will be prompted to register for an account; the prompt will ask for your Business/Organization name and email address. 

Once you have entered that, FORWARD will send an email to your email account that you used to create an account to set a secure password. After you create your password, login, and start the application process, please check your SPAM/Junk folder if you don’t receive the email. Signing up with FORWARD is free. 

Step 2: Click on the "Long Beach Nonprofit Relief Grant," then click on the "Apply" button to start the application process.

Step 3: Fill out the application. Complete the required information, questions, and certifications.

Step 4: Submit. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email from forward-notification@livestories.com to the email address you used to sign up with FORWARD.

What is an EIN or TIN #?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) and is used to identify a business/nonprofit entity. Generally, businesses and nonprofits need an EIN. Like a Social Security number, the EIN number is nine digits long and assigned by the federal government. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business and nonprofit tax returns.

Will I receive a notification that my application has been received?

Yes. You will receive an email confirmation from forward-notification@livestories.com once your application is received. Check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive an email shortly after submitting your application.

Will I be able to edit my submission after applying should I make an error?

No. However, if you need to correct an error, please get in touch with forward-support@livestories.com, and our team can work with you to provide additional and correct information to your application.

Logistics and Portal Questions

Why is the application period only open for 60 days?

Due to the limitations on the available funding, the City will open the application period for 60 days. If funding remains after the grant application has closed, the City may open another round of funding for the program.

Who do I contact for help?

The LiveStories/FORWARD Technical Support will be provided by phone and/or email to any applicants with questions related to the FORWARD platform. For technical support, call (855) 582-3973 or email forward-support@livestories.com. The hours for the support line are 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Monday-Friday.

Who is LiveStories and FORWARD?

The City of Long Beach has partnered with LiveStories/FORWARD to manage the application process and distribute awards. LiveStories is a Washington state technology company that powers the FORWARD application portal. LiveStories offers application services for programs such as this nationwide.

Grant Awards

What is the maximum amount of the grant, and what are the terms of the grant?

If an applicant submits a successful application and meets all the eligibility criteria, the maximum amount of the grant is $25,000.

Long Beach reserves the right to modify (increase or decrease) grant award amounts depending on the number of applicants and funds available.

How will I be notified if I am awarded a grant?

You will receive an email from forward-notification@livestories.com notifying you if you have been awarded a grant and included in the email will be "Next Steps".

Is this grant taxable income?

These grants are funded with Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the American Rescue Plan Act and are generally excluded from the recipient's gross taxable income. Grant recipients are advised to consult their accountant or tax advisor for any further questions regarding their tax obligation for this grant.

Does anything need to be repaid?

No, these grants do not need to be repaid. However, grant recipients will be required to attest to their intent to use grant funding for eligible uses under the program. Grant recipients may be subject to an audit administered by the City to verify that grant funding was spent on eligible expenses.

Will receiving a grant impact other federal assistance or unemployment insurance eligibility?

You will need to check with those assistance providers.

How long will it take for a successful applicant to receive an award and in what format?

Once all submissions are reviewed, awardees will be notified via email in May/June if they have been selected to receive funds.

How will funds be distributed?

Long Beach's partner, LiveStories/FORWARD, is able to provide ACH direct deposit, as well as sending out paper checks via USPS to the address on your W-9 or other location you designate. Awardees will make this decision upon notification of award.

Will there be more grant opportunities?

Additional small business funding may be provided through federal or state government action. For more information please contact the City's BizCare Hotline at (562) 570-4249 or email 4Biz@longbeach.gov.

My organization is new and I don't have a Form 990, how do I submit?

Please upload a blank document in place of your Form 990 as this is a required document for all submission through the platform. Startup organizations are not required to provide a Form 990 and your application will still be considered for grant funding.