As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, The Redding City Council and City of Redding staff worked closely with the Redding Chamber of Commerce and our members to craft a robust Economic Response Plan, which will provide significant relief to residential and commercial/industrial ratepayers of Redding Electric Utility at a time that many of them need it most.
Our Chamber’s Political Action Committee voted yesterday, following a presentation from Redding City Manager Barry Tippin, to unanimously support this proposal.
At last night’s City Council meeting, Council Members passed the plan in its entirety. To watch the video presentation, please click HERE.
Here are the highlights of what was passed:
Current Added Value to REU Ratepayers:
1) Suspend late fees and interest on City of Redding payments. Value: $60,000
2) Suspend City of Redding utility shut-offs. Value: Increased Cash Flow 3) Suspend City of Redding utility late fees. Value: $425,000 4) Distribution of $50 to REU account holders. Value: $2,200,000
Additional Economic Relief Approved Last Night:
1) Deferral of Transient Occupancy Tax. Value: $250,000 Est. deferred (This is the money hotels pay to the city that is collected through a tax on room nights paid by hotel guests.) 2) Modify existing CARES program guidelines. Value: $1,500,000
(CARES is a long-standing program of REU and serves lower income qualified customers. This will give a $300 credit to CARES customers.) 3) Modify existing Utilities amortization program guidelines. Value: Increased Cash Flow
(24-month timeframe for past due accounts to be made whole.) 4) Refund City of Redding utility deposits. Value: $3,400,000
(This will be a refund to all ratepayers that have a deposit on the books with REU. For the more than 600 businesses who will benefit, this equates to an average refund of $800 for each business.) 5) Additional Cap and Trade distribution. Value: $9,000,000
(This will be distributed as a $200 credit on all ratepayers’ accounts including residential, commercial, and industrial.) 6) Utility grant program for small businesses. Value: $600,000
(The Chamber of Commerce will be working with the City of Redding on the qualifying criteria for businesses to access these funds.) 7) Local Economic Stimulus Package. Value: $20,000,000
(This will be invested in capital improvement projects on public buildings. The City of Redding is going to do everything it can to ensure the projects go to local contractors and subcontractors and vendors.)
Total Value of City Response Plan Estimated @ $37,500,000
Redding Chamber’s Rapid Recovery Program
To assist you the Redding Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Redding Electric Utility to answer the questions of the business community related to this local stimulus.
Which brings me to my final, and very important announcement. We are focused on helping businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. In that spirit, we have launched what is called the “Rapid Recovery Program”. For the next 12 months and beyond, you will be able to gain access to resources that will help your business with available funding, training, and savings on employment costs. For more information, please click HERE.
I will update you as our partnership relationships are solidified. Please reach out to me at this time for guidance in preparing your business for funding consideration as part of the latest round of funding totaling $484 billion as approved by Congress this week.