Gov. Gavin Newsom last week announced that the state is offering $500 million in relief grants and tax credits for small businesses that have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses can apply for as much as $25,000 each, and the funding would be distributed throughout the state by early 2021. Nonprofits are also eligible for these grants.

State officials said that small businesses create two-thirds of California’s new jobs and employ nearly half of all private sector employees.

Small businesses can currently apply for a three-month income tax payment extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales taxes.

The temporary tax relief also extends the availability of existing interest and penalty-free payment agreements to companies with as much as $5 million in taxable sales.

Through the Main Street Small Business Tax Credit program, small businesses can receive $1,000 in tax credits for each employee hired. There is $100 million available for that program.

A $12.5 million funding increase for the California Rebuilding Fund was approved to address capital and advisory needs of the state’s small businesses as they reopen and recover from their COVID-19 health and economic impacts.

Expanded interest-free payment options will be provided for larger businesses, especially those that have had their operations significantly impacted by the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Information on the state’s new small business relief programs can be found through the website, www.cdtfa.ca.gov.

For the latest news and information for Galt businesses affected by COVID-19, visit the city’s website at www.ci.galt.ca.us and click on the “Businesses tab, or visit the Galt District Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.galtchamber.com and click on the “COVID-19 Resources” tab.