MENDOCINO Co., 6/18/20 — The Community Foundation of Mendocino has awarded $200,000 to the West Business Development Center, which will distribute the money in grants of up to $5,000 to at least 40 micro-businesses in the county as part of their efforts to provide economic assistance during the COVID pandemic.
The Community Foundation set up the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund last month with a starting anonymous gift of $100,000. That gift was matched, and the Community Foundation has now raised $200,000, which it awarded to the West Business Development Center to distribute to local businesses.
Micro-businesses, which are defined as having fewer than 5 full time employees, can apply for grants starting June 19 at noon. The deadline is Friday, July 3, at 5 pm, with awards announced at noon on Friday, July 24th. Links to the application can be found on the websites of West Center, Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, Willits Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance, and The Community Foundation of Mendocino County.
Here is the full press release:
Community Foundation of Mendocino County Awards West Business Development Center $200,000 for Small Business Innovation and Resiliency grants
Application Opens June 19 at 12 noon
FORT BRAGG, Calif. – June 15, 2020 – West Business Development Center has been awarded a $200,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Mendocino County to distribute funds directly to support micro-businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund for Mendocino County will provide grants of up to $5,000 each to at least 40 micro-businesses during two rounds of grant funding. “We believe there are many innovative small business owners in our county who have a pressing need to re-tool or adapt their business operations but need some financial help to accomplish it,” states Megan Barber Allende, CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are so grateful to those community members who contributed generously to support this effort.” The fund was made possible by an anonymous lead gift that was matched locally by many contributors. Significant funding came from the J-Olivanti Fund, the Mayfield Family Economic Development Fund, the DeLucia Family Fund, the Jantzen-Romelli Donor-Advised Fund, and the South Ukiah Rotary Foundation.
Eligibility criteria include for-profit micro-businesses, defined as having fewer than five full-time employees, who can demonstrate the viability of their business in the face of ongoing disruptions due to COVID-19 with a specific need for finances to pivot their organization. The application portal opens on Friday, June 19, 2020. The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd with awards announced at noon on Friday, July 24th. Links to the application can be found on the websites of West Center, Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, Willits Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance, and The Community Foundation of Mendocino County. “The evolution of this fund has truly been a collaborative effort bringing together organizations across our county who support small business including our chambers of commerce, Economic Development and Finance Corporation (EDFC), and the Workforce Alliance of the North Bay,” says Mary Ann Petrillo, CEO of West Business Development Center.” West Center is committed to driving a holistic and community-driven economic development strategy that recognizes the positive impact that our county’s small businesses have on our local economy.” Phoenix Trent from Evolved Growth Strategies has been hired as the project manager on the fund distribution.
Grant recipients will also work directly with West Business Development Centers’ business advisors and participate in virtual workshops and webinars to provide resources that they need to adapt and thrive.