The City of Chula Vista partnered with the San Diego Foundation and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide $3.6 million in grants to small businesses and nonprofits.
But when it came to handing it out, some businesses that were told they would receive the award never got it.
Jamie Paris, a mother of two, runs a small PR firm with two employees.
Like many small business owners, Paris has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“When COVID hit, obviously a lot of businesses decided to suspend services,” Parris said.
Paris said that sometimes she pays her staff but not herself.
She’s counting on a $10,000 grant from small business and nonprofit relief funds.
“I’m really excited. I’m really looking forward to receiving these funds, especially as a small business. It’s a lot of money,” Parris said.
On December 16, she received a letter from SBDC. This indicates that Paris was selected because she met the stated priority of the City of Chula Vista to fund the hardest-hit businesses.
The $10,000 check was originally scheduled to be mailed in January.
It didn’t arrive. Instead, she received a letter of apology from SBDC executive director Daniel Fitzgerald. It noted that, unfortunately, the letter was sent in error due to a data transmission error.
“I never thought something like this would happen, especially in this city,” Paris said.
In part of an emailed statement to NBC 7, Fitzgerald wrote, “When notifications are sent to awardees, our system also notifies applications that qualify and meet some, but not all, priorities. people.”
SBDC identifies the number of applicants who have received withdrawn awards as “some”.
“It was a huge surprise and really caught me off guard,” Paris said.
Paris could still be picked in the second round. Those notices won’t go out until February.
Frankly, she wasn’t holding her breath.
NBC 7 reached out to the city of Chula Vista. A spokesperson said the city of Chula Vista provides funding for small business and nonprofit relief funds. The program is administered by the San Diego Foundation and the Small Business Development Center.