Types of Grants Available for California Businesses

Electric vehicle charging station funded by California business grants

By: Micki Vandeloo, President, Lakeview Consulting

Ahhh, sunny California! The state with renowned wineries, sun, sand, surf and palm trees has another positive attribute – an expansive choice of grant programs for the manufacturing community! The primary activities funded in the state are recycling and clean energy manufacturing, largely due to California’s aggressive push for 90% zero-carbon electricity sales and economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, 95% by 2040 and 100% by 2045; workforce development; and research and development.  Here is a snapshot of programs in each of these categories currently offered by the state of California:

Recycling/Clean Energy Business Grant Programs

  • Carpet Stewardship Grants: Product Testing Grants – Product Testing Grants support product testing, research and development, and similar market development activities to improve and enhance post-consumer carpet (PCC) recycling and utilization of recycled content product manufacturing. Up to $50,000 per award, deadline of 12/31/23.
  • Low Carbon Transportation Investments and Air Quality Improvement Program – Low Carbon Transportation Investments and the Air Quality Improvement Program provide mobile source incentives to reduce greenhouse gas, criteria pollutant, and toxic air contaminant emissions through the deployment of advanced technology and clean transportation. Rebates of up to $7,000 are available per light-duty vehicle purchased or leased by a California manufacturer.
  • Ultra-Low-Carbon Fuel: Demonstration- and Commercial-Scale Production Facilities Utilizing Forest Biomass – The California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Clean Transportation Program (formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program) announces the availability of up to $9.0 million to support ultra-low-carbon fuel in two funding categories: demonstration-scale and commercial-scale production facilities utilizing forest biomass. Total estimated funding is $9,000,000 and the deadline for applications is 5/18/23.
  • CAL FIRE: Wood Products and Bioenergy Business Development Grant – CAL FIRE’s Wood Products and Bioenergy team seeks to maintain and enhance the forest-sector workforce and businesses of California to promote healthy resilient forests throughout the state by supporting a diverse set of business development and workforce development projects. Eligible business development projects include facilities, operations, and professional services that support the restoration of healthy, resilient forests by offering improvements to the wood products industry. Grants of $10,000 to $2,000,000 are awarded through this program.  Applications are accepted on a continuing basis and reviewed on a quarterly schedule.

Workforce Development Business Grant Programs

  •  Employment Training Panel (ETP) – Established in 1982, the Employment Training Panel (ETP) has remained California’s premier program for supporting job creation and retention, through training ETP is funded by a special tax on California employers and differs from other workforce development organizations whose emphasis is on pre-employment training. ETP fulfills its mission by reimbursing the cost of employer-driven training for incumbent workers and funding the type of training needed by unemployed workers to re-enter the workforce. This is an ongoing program that funds up to $500,000 for single employers, and up to $500,000 for apprenticeship proposals.

Research and Development Business Grant Programs

  • California Clean Transportation Grants – Through the Clean Transportation Program, formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, the Energy Commission invests up to $100 million annually in projects that support adoption of cleaner transportation powered by alternative and renewable fuels. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and the grant award size is dependent on the funding category, which include, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure; hydrogen vehicle and refueling infrastructure; medium and heavy-duty vehicles; natural gas vehicles and refueling infrastructure; and biofuels: biomethane, diesel substitutes and gasoline substitutes.
  • Cost Share for Federal Clean Energy Funding Opportunities – The purpose of this solicitation is to provide cost share funding to applicants that apply for and receive one of the following: An award under an eligible federal Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and meet the requirements of this solicitation, or Follow-on funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue research from a previously awarded federal grant that also received Energy Commission federal cost share funding under PON-14-308, GFO-18-902, or this GFO and the proposed project meets the requirements of this solicitation. Total funding expected for this program is $20,000,000.
  • Hydrogen Blending and Lower Oxides of Nitrogen Emissions in Gas-Fired Generation (HyBLOX) – The purpose of this solicitation is to fund technology development and demonstration of emissions mitigating technologies and gas-fired power generation technologies that can run efficiently on high blends of hydrogen in the fuel stream while mitigating greenhouse gas and oxides of nitrogen emissions. Total program funding is $8,500,000 and the deadline for applications is 4/5/23.

Additional California Business Grants Available

Please note that this is just a snapshot of what is available in the state of California at the time of the writing of this article.  To stay up on the grant landscape in California, other states, or at a federal level, please subscribe to the Manufacturing Grants Database, which is updated monthly to help manufacturers stay informed on the quickly changing manufacturing grants landscape.  Enter the code LAKE22 upon checkout to get a 20% reduction on the regular priced monthly subscription rate of $25 per month.

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