Local businesses and non-profits that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are getting some much-needed financial support as the county has distributed nearly $2 million in General Fund dollars to these entities over the last 4 months through the county’s Small Business Restart and Recovery (SBRR) grant program. This funding is designed to help with COVID-related expenses so that restaurants, retailers, community-based organizations and others can safely continue operating during the pandemic.
Since the program began this summer, more than 150 local businesses and non-profits have received checks from the county ranging from $500 to $12,500 to help with COVID-related expenses like preparing re-opening plans, purchasing personal protective equipment, rent payments, certain payroll expenses, building improvements, cleaning supplies and other activities. In total, the county has distributed $1.8 million, and staff are working to finalize more than $2 million in additional payments to local entities as quickly as possible.
A longtime North Coast business, Pacific Outfitters, was a recipient of the grant program and the financial assistance is helping keep its Eureka location open with health and safety as a top priority.
“My goal is to stay open and that we meet all safety measures for our customers and employees,” said Aaron Ostrom, owner of Pacific Outfitters. “With cleaning supplies and programs, we are able to clean the facility before, during and after closing each day. We are thankful the county was able to secure money to provide assistance for these cleaning costs and help businesses during COVID.”
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors allocated $3.889 million to this relief program for local small businesses impacted by COVID. Although only businesses were initially eligible for the SBRR grant, the program was later made available to special districts and non-profit organizations with grants ranging from $500 to $12,500.
“Local businesses are struggling and doing everything they can to stay open and provide jobs to people in Humboldt County during a pandemic. We know this funding doesn’t make them whole, but we hope it helps cover some of the expenses caused by this terrible virus,” said Estelle Fennell, 2nd District Supervisor and Chair of the Board. “We need additional support from the federal government as quickly as possible to help our local businesses and service providers keep their doors open. I also know that our county staff are doing everything they can to get this funding out the door to those who qualify, and I want to commend them for their hard work. I’m encouraged by all the entities that submitted their applications and we hope to help many others with the funding.”
The County Administrative Office – Economic Development Team played a big role in the process by collecting and reviewing the large volume of applications received by businesses and non-profits.
“We want to provide assistance to as many businesses and non-profits as possible,” said Scott Adair Director of Economic Development for the County of Humboldt. “There is still more to be done and our small staff is still working to complete the review of the near 700 applications that were received for this program.”
Questions regarding SBRR as applications are no longer being accepted can be directed to the Humboldt County Administrative Office – Economic Development Team at 707-445-7745 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Business Resources Web Page with SBRR Application.