Chino Valley, in the state of California, is home to a variety of small enterprises. A new round of small business help may be on the way, depending on whether the Chico City Council decides to approve the idea on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday, December 5, members of the City Council will vote on a $1 million allotment of American Rescue Plan monies that will be discussed during their meeting. Before this program was implemented, the Chico City Council agreed in June 2021 to make it available to small businesses in the city as a stimulus for pandemic recovery. At the time, however, the restrictions were considerably tougher and more prevalent than they are now.
If approved, the program would run in combination with Butte Business Stabilization Initiative II, which is a county initiative that has a similar purpose of stabilizing the local economy and would be implemented in conjunction with the program if allowed. Deputy City Manager Jennifer Macarthy will provide a presentation on the topic on the agenda throughout the course of the meeting.
In a speech delivered outside the Chico municipal center on Tuesday morning, Macarthy stated that “a number of restrictions have been removed,” but that “this does not imply that our businesses are not still feeling the squeeze.”
As described by Macarthy, the proposed effort will serve as a means of minimizing the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on the local business climate. There have been a number of projects of this sort that have come before it, all of which took place during a time when lockdowns and guidelines were much stronger. As opposed to previously, the goal now is to balance the operational costs that continue to burden those restaurants, stores, bars and other enterprises that have chosen to remain in operation despite the economic downturn.
“There will be a significant period of time before our businesses are able to return to a state of equilibrium as a result of these worries, which include labor shortages and supply chain challenges. Our responsibility is to do everything in our power to help them through this tough moment “Macarthy explains the situation.
The vote comes as a welcome relief to the local economy after roughly $2 million in assistance has been provided to Chico-area companies since 2020. Approximately $22,118,301 in American Rescue Plan monies were awarded to and received by the city of Los Angeles, which accounted for a significant fraction of the total. The totals are as follows, in descending order of importance:
Chico small company support has reached $1.85 million in the past.
$855,606 in new Butte County support for small businesses in Chico (to be used in conjunction with the new Chico program)
The entire amount proposed for the new Chico small business assistance program is $1,855,606, which is equal to $1,855,606 USD.
If the proposal is approved by the Chico City Council on Tuesday night, for-profit licensed businesses located within the city limits of Chico with exactly or fewer than 100 employees who can demonstrate proof of pandemic impacts on their business will be able to submit an application in early April.