OROVILLE, Calif. – The Butte County Board of Supervisors approved $6.1 million in local business assistance from Federal Coronavirus Relief Funding during it’s meeting on Tuesday.
As part of the state’s adopted budget, $1.3 billion of the $9.5 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds received by the state was allocated to California counties. Including $21.4 million to Butte County to reduce the financial impacts of the pandemic, board members said.
The supervisors voted to approve $5 million for the Butte Business Stabilization Program to award direct assistance grants to small local businesses, and $1.1 million for assistance to community-based organizations financially impacted by the coronavirus.
The Salvation Army in Chico said the funds would go a long way, saying COVID-19 has impacted the way they are able to fundraise.
Supervisors say the balance of the county’s allocation of $15.3 million will be used to pay the cost of responding to the public health emergency and improve teleworking capabilities across Butte County to support a remote workforce.
One supervisor said there has been a combination of different expenses adding up from having to purchase additional technology devices for virtual meetings, to purchasing safety equipment for county offices.
The amount each business will receive does depend on how many employees they have.
The Old Barn Kitchen in Downtown Chico currently has six employees and said anything would be helpful so they could stay open.
“So many local businesses in our community have been financially impacted by COVID-19 due to interruptions, closures, and changing requirements from the State,” Steve Lambert, District 4 Supervisor and Chairman of the Board said in a news release. “These grants are intended to assist those businesses through these difficult times and reduce the financial impacts experienced through loss of business and expenses incurred to comply with State public health orders.”
Lambert says the county has been hit hard with different disasters like the Camp Fire and the pandemic and he says the money will be used to keep employees and services going.
He also shared the grant awards will benefit as many as 250 local businesses, many who have already submitted applications.
Applications will be available online, next month.