As small businesses struggled to withstand the impact of the COVID-19 government shutdown, Los Banos City Council fought to aid impacted businesses.

The council voted in December of 2021 to use the $2.5 million stimulus allocation in a way that would serve businesses and patrons alike through the RAD Card program. Using the RAD Card, members of the community could effectively use the RAD Card app to double their spending money on downtown businesses in Los Banos.

The RAD Card program, however, has been discontinued. Patrons with remaining funds on the app are still able to use their Card, though they will not be able to reload their RAD Card.

Los Banos has received $9 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and with that money the City of Los Banos has decided to go in a new direction. On Feb. 1, the Small Business Assistance Program was initiated.

The Small Business Assistance Program is available for small businesses and non-profits which were economically or disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The businesses and non-profits seeking assistance from the program must still be operational and located within the city limits. Furthermore, the applicant must not have delinquent on taxes or fees owed to the City of Los Banos as of Dec. 31, 2020.

According to the City of Los Banos at the Crossroads of California website, the maximum award for businesses is $25,000. The money awarded can be used for various reasons, including payroll support and benefits, mortgages, rent, utilities, and even operational costs.

Applications for the Small Business Assistance Program are available at For questions about the program call 209-827-2433, or email

Courtney Andrade