The county government and Prestamos Community Development Finance Institution, a division of Chicanos Por La Causa, are now taking applications and offering informational workshops as part of a program to aid local businesses with loans and related assistance.

The goal of the fledgling Santa Cruz County Forgivable Loan Program is to help struggling small businesses, artists and nonprofits on their road to recovery by “walking alongside them in their path to success with comprehensive resources,” according to a press release from CPLC.

The program will disburse $1 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits in the form of forgivable loans of up to $25,000, and up to $2,500 for artist development grants.

Successful applicants will be paired with a specialist who will provide one-on-one coaching in topics such as finances, strategic plans, marketing to increase sales and more.

“What makes this program unique” is that it asks successful applicants to invest 10 percent of their loan amount on their own business skills or in their community as the condition of forgiveness, the press release said.

Applications are being accepted through Aug. 9 at the program website:

To learn more about the Santa Cruz County Forgivable Loan Program, contact Roman Campuzano at (520) 355-8478 or

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