(Reuters) – California has extended the deadline for small businesses to ask for a grant to help them get through the COVID-19 crisis, after the program was overwhelmed with applications, officials said.

The Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, offering grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, opened on Dec. 30.

“Due to the high traffic, some businesses may have had trouble accessing the application,” the state’s Office of Business and Economic Development said in a statement late on Monday.

The deadline would now be extended by five days to Jan. 13, it added.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the $500 million scheme in November.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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