CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

California Small Businesses: There is a new grant opportunity in town!

Grants from $5,000 to $25,000 will be available to eligible small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 starting in September 2021. Review the materials now and draft your application to be one of the first new institutions/businesses to apply. If you’ve already applied for this grant funding and are on the waitlist, there’s no need to reapply.

California’s small business relief program is holding two additional rounds of new funding:
Round 8: Non-Profit Cultural Institutions Only
Application window: Friday, Aug 27th – Wed, Sept 8th
Open to small non-profit institutions that meet eligibility criteria.
Round 9: New and Waitlisted Applicants
Application window: Thursday, Sept 9th – Thursday, Sept 30
Open to small businesses that meet eligibility criteria.
 
 
Interested in more ways to help your business thrive? Learn more about how becoming a Green Business can help you save money on utilities and provide your business/non-profit with up to $500 in rebates at greenbusinessca.org/why-get-certified/
 

‘Tis the Season for Sustainable Gift Giving!

‘Tis the Season for Sustainable Gift Giving!

 

The holiday season is in full force all around us. As you and your family prepare for a jolly (albeit nuanced and socially distanced!) holiday, don’t forget to add an eco-friendly touch when gifting.  Here are some green tips to keep in mind: 

  • Think green giving: Be kind to the Earth and the people on your Christmas list. Eco-friendly gifts include things like upcycled jewelry, reusable cutlery sets, aesthetic mason jars for storage, or reusable water bottles. 
  • The gift of experience: Giving an experience can be a great alternative for the holidays.         Although some activities may be difficult to do while social distancing, there are still many options that will lead to great memories! Know someone who is diving into the world of cooking during this lockdown? Try virtual cooking classes. Here is a list of potential options at various price points. 
  • Get crafty: Bestow presents with a homemade touch. The online tutorials for such ideas are endless– bottle cap art, homemade body scrub and bath products, baked goods, or even aromatherapy rice heating pads. Try browsing Sustainable Cook’s list of homemade items for some inspiration! 
  • Give with purpose. Living in a time with access to the instant gratification of online shopping, we often find our homes brimming with “stuff”. Rather than purchasing your loved one a generic trinket with no use, think utility. Does Grandma love to garden? Get her personalized gardening gloves with her name on them! Not only does this avoid creating waste, butit also is more personalized and thoughtful. Every time they use the item, they will appreciate it even more. 
  • Wrap it up: Rather than breaking the bank to purchase expensive wrapping paper that is meant to be torn and tossed, opt for a sustainable alternative. Got some brown paper bags from when you forgot to bring along your reusable tote to the grocery store? Utilize your stash of shame by slicing it up and wrapping your gifts with it! Add some twine for a sleek and earth-friendly look. Old newspapers work too. Another option is the ancient Japanese practice of Furoshiki, a way of wrapping gifts with cloth. This is an easy way to customize your gift using material that is likely already around the house, as well as keeping material out of the landfill. Furoshiki cloth can be reused by the recipient for many purposes such as wrapping gifts for the next occasion, wearing as a bandana, or using it as a reusable cloth napkin. Learn more.

Remember to shop local to support small businesses (and Green Businesses) in your community!

Find all the Green Businesses near you here: Find a Green Business

How to Make Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

After an unprecedentedly challenging year, we are charging into 2021 with resilience. When honoring the tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions, we can incorporate our commitment to the environment. Read on for some inspiration for January 1st. 

This year make resolutions that challenge you while benefiting yourself and the planet. 

  • Lessen your meat intake: No need to quit cold turkey if you aren’t ready for that. However, you and your family choosing to participate in things like Meatless Mondays or eliminating red meat from your diet can have a great positive impact on the environment that will build over the year. 
  • Give yourself zero waste challenges: The little things add up! Challenge yourself to remember to decline disposable silverware when grabbing takeout, make coffee at home instead of grabbing that drink in a disposable cup, or clean your home with reusable rags instead of paper towels. 
  • Get into gardening at home: Whether you have a sprawling landscape or a small planter box, there’s potential to grow produce to supplement your meals. Some low maintenance winter favorites include beets, carrots, kale, and squash!  
  • Make sure your home is lean and green: Now that we are all finding ourselves at home a significant amount of time, it’s a great opportunity to make sure our homes are as green as our businesses. This can include switching out old lighting for LEDs or making sure your cleaning products are certified non-toxic. 

Be patient with yourselves. As we have learned as a network, it is not about some of us practicing sustainability perfectly 100% of the time, but rather about all of us practicing sustainably the best that we can. We may fall off the wagon from time to time, but we’ll have created strong resolutions that will hopefully turn into habits following us past 2021. 

To keep in the loop and learn about new blog posts, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

You could even resolve to support Green Businesses near you! Find one today on our directory.

California Green Business Network Becomes 1% for the Planet Partner

The California Green Business Network is proud to join 1% for the Planet’s roster of non-profits working for environmental good. CAGBN leads the state and nation in working with small to medium-sized businesses to grow a vibrant and healthy green economy. Led by a coalition of cities and counties, Green Business Programs contribute to more livable communities with healthier environments, while conserving resources and saving businesses money. 

1% for the Planet brings “…dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving.” Business members are connected with high-impact nonprofits like the California Green Business Network. Many of the 4,000+ certified Green Businesses are also 1% for the Planet members, making this a perfect partnership. CAGBN looks forward to encouraging more Green Businesses to join 1% for the Planet!

“We are thrilled to be recognized as a leader in helping small to medium-sized businesses reduce their environmental footprint and improve their bottom line.” – Jo Fleming, Executive Director, California Green Business Network

About 1% for the Planet

1% for the Planet is a global organization that connects dollars and doers to accelerate smart environmental giving. We recognize that the current level of environmental giving – only 3% of total philanthropy – is not enough to solve the most pressing issues facing our planet.

Through our business and individual membership, 1% for the Planet inspires people to support environmental organizations through annual membership and everyday actions. We advise on giving strategies, we certify donations, and we amplify the impact of the network. We hope you’ll join us!

About the California Green Business Network

The California Green Business Network helps local businesses conserve energy, water, minimize waste, prevent pollution, and shrink their carbon footprints through a voluntary certification available statewide.

4,000+ certified California Green Businesses combined to achieve some impressive environmental outcomes in 2019:

        • Over 400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, the equivalent of planting over 20,000 urban acres of trees a year for ten years.
      • Enough kilowatt-hours saved to power over 25,000 houses for an entire year.
        • 100,000 metric tons of waste diverted from the landfill, almost 15,000 garbage trucks worth of waste eliminated.
        • 249,000,000 gallons of water saved – a lot of toilets and showerheads folks!
        • Over 20,000 gallons of hazardous waste were eliminated.
      • $18 million dollars in utility bill savings.

View the metrics at greenbusinessca.org/metrics.

Learn about the California Green Business Network, how to become a Green Business, or where you can support Green Businesses near you at greenbusinessca.org.