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More COVID-19 relief coming to Arroyo Grande businesses 

Arroyo Grande is funneling tens of thousands of dollars into new and existing programs aimed at offering support to those most impacted by COVID-19, including another round of grants for struggling local businesses.

At a meeting on March 9, Arroyo Grande City Council unanimously voted to direct $120,000 toward the city's Business Assistance Grant Program, which was first launched in the fall of 2020 using Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Through the initial program, Arroyo Grande awarded grants ranging from around $1,000 to $5,000 to 18 businesses in need.

"We've done this before with much success, and I think it really is helpful to businesses," Councilmember Kristen Barneich said at the March 9 meeting. "And it just kind of gets straight to the meat of the matter."

HELP IS ON THE WAY At a meeting on March 9, the Arroyo Grande City Council unanimously voted to direct $120,000 in SB 1090 funds toward the city's Business Assistance Grant Program and more to other COVID-19 relief efforts. - FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS MCGUINNESS
  • File Photo By Chris McGuinness
  • HELP IS ON THE WAY At a meeting on March 9, the Arroyo Grande City Council unanimously voted to direct $120,000 in SB 1090 funds toward the city's Business Assistance Grant Program and more to other COVID-19 relief efforts.

This time around, Arroyo Grande is using funds provided to the city through Senate Bill 1090, a law that provided San Luis Obispo County localities with millions of dollars to mitigate the economic impacts of the upcoming Diablo Canyon Power Plant closure. Recipients of this round of grants will be able to use the funding for rent, payroll, cleaning, personal protective equipment, and any other operational changes needed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Arroyo Grande is also directing several thousand dollars to scholarships for local businesses and residents in need of workforce training. Job losses amid COVID-19 and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant closure have created a need for new skill building and training opportunities locally, according to an Arroyo Grande staff report. The scholarship program would help residents and businesses most impacted attend training courses through SLO Partners, a nonprofit that offers career-building services.

City Council members also voted to launch the COVID Safety Superstar Program, which aims to celebrate businesses that have worked particularly hard to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and will come at no significant cost to the city.

"Dang that feels good, doesn't it?" Arroyo Grande Mayor Caren Ray Russom said after the relief programs were approved on March 9. "We get to be Santa Claus twice!" Δ

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