It’s heartening to see the community coming together to help our businesses get back on their feet. Here is a range of resources available for businesses:
The emergency relief fund was created to help small businesses get back on their feet. The Sebastopol and Russian River Chambers are working in conjunction with Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber with their New Vision Santa Rosa Foundation, and the Sonoma County Economic Development Board as well as event organizers and donors to create this vital business resource. The Lazy Bears Foundation is also one of our collaborating entities.
The application for grants from the Small Business Flood Relief fund is now open. Eligible businesses are those from within the flood affected regions around Sebastopol and the lower Russian River that have sustained physical damage. You do not need to be a Chamber member to receive a grant. The google form application is available online here or you may contact the Sebastopol or Russian River Chambers to be sent a pdf version to fill out and drop off.
Linda Collins, Executive Director for the Sebastopol Chamber, and Elise VanDyne, Executive Director for the Russian River Chamber, will review your application within 7 days of application receipt and checks to recipients will be written as soon as the funds are available from the various fundraisers. Grant amounts will be between $500 and $1,500 depending upon funds available and your fit with the criteria established by the committee.
Donors interested in giving to the fund can participate by:
2. SBA Disaster Relief for business, renters, and homeowners. The Federal disaster declaration through the SBA unlocked funds at low rates and long repayment terms for homeowners, renters, and businesses covering lost contents, physical damage, and – in the case of businesses – lost income. Although the representatives are no longer in town, you have another 30 days to apply for these loans. Contact the SBA directly here.
3. SBDC one-on-one advising. The SBDC is providing free one-on-one business advising from the Russian River Chamber of Commerce from 11 am to 3 pm every Monday on a drop-in basis. They are a great partner 1) with the SBA, helping you decide how to incorporate SBA loans into your overall financial picture, 2) ongoing, how to strengthen your company with financing, marketing, start-up, budgeting, and business planning support. Drop in any Monday and make use of this fantastic resource.
4. County of Sonoma Economic Development Board. Here is their Business Recovery Guide. Their small business advisers are available to help you as well, in both spanish and english. (707) 565-7170 Call to set up an appointment with Marcos Suarez or Ethan Brown.