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County now accepting loan applications for small businesses impacted by COVID-19


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The County of Kern is now accepting applications for their small business forgivable loan program, Kern Recovers.

The $25 million program, which started accepting applications today, seeks to provide relief to small businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19. It is funded as part of the $157 million in CARES Act funding that the county received from the federal government.

“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,” said Chief Operating Officer Jim Zervis. “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.”  

To bring this program to local businesses, the county is working with four local financial institutions: 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. At least 34 percent of the loan must be used for payroll, up to 33 percent for rent/utilities/mortgage interest and up to 33 percent for general working capital.

Small business owners must meet the following criteria to be approved for the program:

  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Have less than $5 million in annual revenue
  • Be physically located in Kern County
  • Have at least one full-time, two part-time or 50 percent of owners live in Kern

There are some additional requirements that can be found online through the application process at

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