The program is part of Colusa County’s Community Investment Program, which the Board of Supervisors established on August 18.
The program provided $1 million for local food programs, the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce, and to provide healthcare support, but most went to help businesses throughout the county that were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
“In total, we awarded 86 grants to 55 businesses totaling $796,769.25,” said Tana Loudon, assistant planner in the Community Development Department.
In addition to the $177,000 awarded in the first round of funding, Colusa County gave $619,000 in direct cash payment in the second round to businesses throughout the county and the cities of Colusa and Williams, including six businesses in Arbuckle that received about $70,000.
Loudon said 36 businesses in Colusa received $555,467 and eight in Williams received $129,913.
“I noticed during processing these applications how diverse our small business community was, so I ran some additional numbers,” Loudon said, in a report to the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 10. “Sixty-nine percent of the businesses funded were either female owned, minority owned, or in many cases, both.”
Loudon added that she has worked on many projects in the county, but the coronavirus relief program has by far been the most rewarding.
“Most of these businesses, both in the county and cities, didn’t know where to go or had nowhere else to go for help,” she said. “These funds were desperately needed by our small business community.”
The money for the community support/small business grant program came from Colusa County’s share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 27.
The County has until Dec. 31 to expend all their CARES Act funds.