Chamber Advocacy Leads to $3 Million for Local Businesses
September 17, 2020
When I woke up Tuesday morning and hit the treadmill upstairs at the Shasta Family YMCA I was running through how I had hoped the day would go. It was my plan to deliver a presentation to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors that revealed to them the immense financial need that exists mostly for small service, retail, and restaurant businesses throughout Shasta County. A few hours later I executed on the plan.
Why this week’s meeting? Shasta County Health & Human Services Director, Donnell Ewert, was on the agenda presenting a spending plan for the roughly $18 million in CARES Act funding that the county is receiving to help alleviate some of the financial burden of COVID-19. It was my belief that if I did not show up and make the case for business support, I would have been letting down many people trying to stay in business at this time.
I am so glad I took the initiative.
Following my presentation and some Q & A, the Board of Supervisors discussed what was a feasible and appropriate allocation for businesses. The ultimate result was approval of $3 million to be distributed to eligible businesses in Shasta County in the form of $10,000 grants. I have to thank Supervisor Joe Chimenti for reaffirming our position and for Supervisor Leonard Moty for figuring out how to shift funds to make this happen. The vote was 4-1 in favor with Supervisor Les Baugh the lone dissenter. Don’t misinterpret Supervisor Baugh’s vote. He only voted “no” because he thought local businesses should have received more of the funding.
We will be releasing the application through the Redding Chamber of Commerce website at noon on Tuesday, September 22nd, which happens to coincide with the virtual State of the City (for more information on the event, please CLICK HERE). Stay vigilant and get the application in right away. We expect the response to be significant.
To be eligible, a business or non-profit must:
1) Be located in Shasta County
2) Have been adversely affected by COVID-19
3) Have no more than 25 employees
4) Agree to follow the public health guidelines from the Governor’s office as they relate to COVID-19 business operations
Preference will be given to businesses located in unincorporated Shasta County. Businesses located in Anderson, Redding, and the City of Shasta Lake are also eligible to apply. Grants will be distributed at the discretion of a 7-member grant committee until all funds are expended. Any questions you may have should be directed to the grant program coordinator at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Anderson City Council Appropriates Additional Grant Funding
Following the Board of Supervisors meeting, I drove down to Anderson to request additional funds specific to Anderson businesses. The Anderson City Council voted unanimously to allocate roughly $80,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Chamber’s microenterprise grant program. This program serves businesses with 5 or fewer employees and is designed to assist businesses that have not been able to access other available funding. To apply for funding consideration, please CLICK HERE.
Finally, I would like to thank the City Councils in Anderson, Redding, and the City of Shasta Lake, as well as the Shasta County Board of Supervisors for their commitment and prioritization of support for the local business community. We are proud to continue to advocate for businesses in the greater Redding area and Shasta County during this critical time.