Business Owners encouraged to share your stories with Director Guzman, CalOSBA
LAKE COUNTY, CA (February 10, 2021) – County and community leaders are committed to helping local businesses struggling to overcome challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Late last year, the Lake County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Team was established as a collaborative advocacy group, with the intent of ensuring Lake County businesses have a fair and equitable opportunity to access high demand COVID-19 relief funding programs, such as the State’s California Relief Grants and the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Rural communities, such as Lake County, frequently have fewer businesses, even in the best of times. According to 2018 and 2019 Census data, there are just over 17 “employer establishments” for every 1,000 Lake County residents, significantly lower the ratios of neighboring Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa Counties (28.5-31.3/1,000).
The loss of one Lake County business has a significant community effect, and the representatives of the County of Lake, Cities of Clearlake and Lakeport, Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Lake County Economic Development Corporation and Middletown Area Merchants Association that comprise the Lake County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Team want to see that fact recognized in the distribution of public COVID-19 relief funding.
On Tuesday, the group approved a letter to the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), urging the following changes to the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program:
• An equitable share of grant funding for Lake County businesses
• An equitable share of grant funding for California’s Rural Counties
• Consideration of the “economic weight” a business carries within a county in the prioritization formula for distribution of funds.
This letter is a meaningful step, and demonstrates the alignment of Lake County leaders across sectors. Local business owners are likewise encouraged to add your voices, and share your stories, with Director Guzman and CalOSBA, at [email protected]
Letter to Director Guzman