San Luis Obispo County introduced a program Thursday, April 1 designed to help local businesses alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.
Road to Recovery is a program that provides small businesses in unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County with micro-grants of up to $50,000 to be used for COVID-19 economic development related activities.
Businesses can begin applying for grants tomorrow, April 6.
“I think it’s great that we can help our businesses and community,” San Luis Obispo County Assistant Administrative Officer Guy Savage said. “This is all about building an economic bridge for businesses that are suffering and individuals that are suffering from COVID-19 economic impacts.”
At first, the county funded this program by distributing local relief dollars to the community. Now, money from the American Rescue Plan Act will fund the program.
City of San Luis Obispo Economic Development Manager Lee Johnson said the grant program has only been made eligible for businesses in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County such as Adelaida, Cambria and Los Osos and will not be available for businesses within cities. This is to match what has already been offered in the incorporated cities in the county.
“The cities have done a terrific job of offering similar programs to businesses in the cities, so this is just [San Luis Obispo County] trying to do similar sorts of things for the unincorporated businesses,” Savage said.
The Road to Recovery program contains a detailed communication plan that was created to notify local businesses about various resources as they are released, such as financial assistance and COVID-19 business guidances.
In efforts to relieve small businesses, the program established a four-step approach, including reconstructing and updating the county’s recovery resources website, which will serve to support all businesses in the community.
In addition, a $50,000 micro-grant program for businesses with 50 employees or less in the unincorporated areas of the County will be provided.
Further assistance includes the allocation of $55,000 in aid to San Luis Obispo County educational support services, designated for young childcare centers.
$25,000 will also be allocated toward supporting the 2-1-1 social services hotline or others in general support of small businesses and residential recovery.
“When we look at the micro-grants themselves, it’s really about saving jobs, people that might otherwise lose their jobs due to the economic downturns being driven by COVID-19,” Savage said.
The grants will be administered by the County Workforce Development Board.