MENDOCINO Co., 8/20/20 — Mendocino County has been under varying shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 since mid-March, and many local businesses have struggled to make adjustments to meet new public health requirements, or to make ends meet with the shifting economy. To assist local businesses who need to make changes to their business model or processes to stay open during the pandemic, West Business Development Center will be opening a new round of grants of up to $5,000 each for qualifying small businesses starting at noon on Friday, August 21.
This will be the second round of small business grants offered by West Company during the pandemic — an earlier round was offered in July, and 21 businesses received grants. Businesses that applied but did not receive grants can submit an application in this new round. The application will be open from August 21 at 12 p.m. until September 4 at 5 p.m., and business must have five employees or less and meet the requirements to apply.
There will be a total of $100,000 in grants available total for this round, thanks to a collaboration between West Center, the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund started by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, and contributions from a number of local foundations and businesses. The Community Foundation is also still accepting contributions to the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund.
Here’s the announcement from West Center, including the application details:
FORT BRAGG, Calif. – August 19, 2020 – West Business Development Center is pleased to announce that applications will be open on Friday, August 21 at 12:00PM for the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund for Mendocino County micro-businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Thanks to the generosity of The Community Foundation of Mendocino County and local donors, West Center has more than $100,000 available to make grants for the second round of funding.
The Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 to successful applicants who can demonstrate a pressing need to reboot and adapt their business operations to drive long-term viability and revenue generation in the face of ongoing disruptions due to the pandemic. West Center CEO Mary Anne Petrillo says, “Six months into the pandemic, we are continuing to see the economic fallout on small businesses in Mendocino County. West Center is committed to providing ongoing support to help businesses adapt and thrive despite the enormous challenges they face. This grant program is vital to the health of our local economy.” Grant recipients will work directly with West Business Development Center’s business advisors and will participate in virtual workshops and webinars that provide business-specific resources and information.
Businesses are eligible to apply for a grant if they are for-profit micro-businesses—defined as having fewer than five full-time employees—that can demonstrate their long-term viability and ability to support a new business model, creative service, or product. The application portal opens on Friday, August 21, 2020 at noon and the submission deadline Friday, September 4 at 5:00PM. A selection committee comprised of local business experts will review the applications and announce the grant recipients at noon on Friday, September 25. Businesses that applied in the first round of grants but were declined are eligible to reapply by logging into the West Center website portal with their original email address and password. The first round of grant funding of $100,000 was distributed to 21 micro-businesses from throughout Mendocino County and across industries including retail, food, health, beauty, travel, construction, and automotive repair. 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 Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund is the result of a collaborative effort among organizations that support small businesses including West Center, the chambers of commerce, the Economic Development and Finance Corporation, and the Workforce Alliance of the North Bay and is made possible by The Community Foundation of Mendocino County. An anonymous lead gift was matched locally, with significant funding 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 as well as gifts from Pacific Gas & Electric, Ted and Wilma Westman Fund, Jim and Babbie Mayfield Fund, the Kevin and Bree Klotter Charitable Trust, the George and Ruth Bradford Foundation, and the Rotary Club of Ukiah.
The Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund is open for continued donations. The money that goes into this fund will continue to go back into our small business community to assist them during this time of need. If you would like to learn more about the fund and how to become a partner or co-sponsor of the Business Innovation and Resiliency fund for Mendocino County please contact: Megan Barber Allende, (707) 468-9882 ext. 102, [email protected].