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Lathrop offering $5,000 COVID pandemic lifeline to its small businesses
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Earlier this year Lathrop’s small business that were struggling amidst the first stay-at-home order were given a lifeline by the City of Lathrop and its small business grants aimed at keeping local shops and stores afloat.

And now that a second – albeit modified – stay-at-home order is now in place they’re opening the window for businesses to apply for a second round of grant funding to help offset losses stemming from the pandemic and the government response to it.

It’s just another step that the city is taking to help local businesses weather the economic storm caused the virus.

“Our small businesses are still struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are here to help,” said Lathrop mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, who has prided himself in being a champion of business during his record four terms at the helm of the city.

Funding for the program is coming from Measure D, which was approved by voters in 1996 and placed a $5,000-per-residential dwelling fee on every home that was constructed in the Stewart Tract area before the construction of a theme park was completed. The ballot initiative, which was intended to help protect Lathrop during the run-up for what was supposed to the Gold Rush City project, was approved by voters and is still in place despite the fact that the plans for the theme park have long since been abandoned.

Of the $5,000 that River Islands pays for every home that they construct, the City of Lathrop gets $1,000 of it that they can use for economic development purposes. With more than 1,500 occupied homes currently in River Islands, the measure has generated north of $1.5 million for the City of Lathrop to promote economic development in the community.

The Lathrop City Council set aside $500,000 from Measure D funds to start the program. During the first round of funding a total of 53 grants at $5,000 each were issued.

There is $235,000 remaining in the funding that earmarked by the council, and those grants will be available to businesses that prove that they were impacted financially by the pandemic until the funds run out.

Businesses that receive the funding do not need to pay the city back.

In addition to the small business grant program, Lathrop has also made emergency economic assistance available to low-income families and those that have been impacted by the job losses or other unforeseen impacts of the coronavirus pandemic – choosing to disperse its Community Development Block Grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to those who need help during these trying times.

The grant funding may be used for rent, payroll, inventory, utilities, or equipment, and will be only be given to for-profit companies that have between 3 and 20 employees. Businesses applying for consideration must be inside of Lathrop’s city limits, have a valid city-issued business license, and be able to prove economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Businesses that will not be considered include non-profit organizations, real estate entities, financing entities, liquor stores, check-cashing facilities, smoke shops, or cannabis dispensaries.

For additional information visit the small business grant page at the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.