program, which was specifically created to support non- profit organizations adapt to challenging economic times.
“Our top priority is to serve vulnerable people, communities and the organizations that support them. Under our initial COVID-19 response, we currently estimate this to include seniors; low-income families and youth; low-access residents; individuals with underlying physical, emotional, or intellectual conditions; disabled; homeless or housing insecure; Native Americans and communities of color; veterans; undocumented migrants; and service workers,” states the foundation’s website.
The multi- sector approach helps focus the COVID-19 relief aid to individual assistance, food relief and nonprofit support, Bell said. “We’ve taken into consideration regional populations and an equity framework. The coast makes up roughly 28 percent of our county’s population and, to date, has received 39 percent of the support we have sent out.”
The Mendocino County Coast has been allocated over $100,000 for coastal specific aid, including $25,000 to North Coast Opportunities for individual assistance for coastal residents. NCO’s application pool has already developed a queue of coastal residents.
The West Business Development Center began taking applications June 19 for its first round of resiliency grants for small businesses.
The Community Foundation hopes to raise another 100,000 dollars for a third round of applicants.
The West Business Development Center is a nonprofit business development center that provides no cost, confidential counseling and relevant training programs to entrepreneurs in Mendocino and Lake County.
While the first round’s deadline has already passed, Bell said there will be another round of applications, starting Aug. 21 through Sept. 4.
The funds granted to the West Business Development Center must be used for sustainable tools that support growth, like business software and websites for e- commerce. Among other requirements, applicants must “demonstrate a pressing need to re-tool and adapt business operations within the next 2- 6 months.”
The center will also provide grant recipients with individual advising, along with participation in group training.
“We believe there are many innovative small business owners in our county who have a pressing need to re-tool or adapt their business operations but need some financial help to accomplish it,” said Megan Barber Allende, CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are so grateful to those community members who contributed generously to support this effort.”
More information on the criteria to apply is available at www.westcenter.org, and with the Mendocino County Chambers of Commerce. The fund will still be accepting donations through Sept. 1.