ARROYO GRANDE, CALIFORNIA – On Tuesday evening, City Council unanimously authorized the use of $60,000 from CARES Act revenue received by the City to assist small businesses in the form of one-time microgrants.
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) provides funding through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for state and local governments to pay for a portion of their costs incurred in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Arroyo Grande was allocated $218,384 in CARES Act dollars.
Realizing the significant impacts COVID-19 has had on both the City’s financial resources, in addition to the impact it has had on the community of Arroyo Grande as a whole, staff recommended Council consider directing the use of CARES Act funding for a blend of reimbursement to the City for the outlay of direct COVID-19 expenses and a few different grant programs including a Small Business Assistance Grant Program.
The Small Business Assistance Grant Program will consist of microgrants of up to $5,000 and will be awarded to 10-15 Arroyo Grande small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures. The funds are intended to be one-time financial assistance to help meet immediate funding needs due to COVID-19 impacts including paying commercial rent, buying personal protective gear, and any other modifications required to make the business compliant with COVID-19 guidelines.
All five Council Members commented on the necessity of the microgrant to assist small businesses who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. “We are pleased to offer this assistance to our local businesses who have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of the state and local closure orders,” stated City Manager Whitney McDonald. “Our local businesses are crucial to a vibrant and thriving economy, and we hope these grants will help our businesses remain viable as we weather the reopening process together.”
More information and applications will be available in the coming weeks on the City’s website at www.arroyogrande.org. Applications will be reviewed and selected by a panel to include representatives of City staff, Chamber of Commerce representatives, Council representatives, and business representatives.
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Whitney McDonald, City Manager