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Posted on: November 16, 2020

City of Riverbank Awards Small Business Grants!

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PRESS RELEASE- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Riverbank, CA – November 16, 2020

 The City of Riverbank Awards Small Business Grants To 31 BUSINESSES 

The City of Riverbank is excited to announce that it has awarded 30 Riverbank based small businesses grants under the Riverbank Small Business Grant Program.  The program has provided grants in various amount levels of $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000. The City Council allocated approximately $360,000 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to assist local small businesses that have experienced financial hardship due to the global pandemic and which can be used to assist them with payroll, operational expenses, and expenses related to COVID (PPE purchases, upgrades, etc.). The grant program had an application period from September 4th to September 27th

The City was able to successfully carry out this program through a partnership with Opportunity Stanislaus. Opportunity Stanislaus assisted the City by providing the creation of application materials, technical assistance, reviewing, screening, and conducting the first review of grant applications.  After the first review of the applications, all complete applications were forwarded to an internal grant review committee comprised of City staff members.  Initial awards were made at reduced levels in order to fund as many businesses as possible.  The City Council at their October 27, 2020 meeting allocated additional funds to fully fund all awarded businesses.  With the City Council’s increased allocation, the total amount of CARES funding awarded to Riverbank businesses is approximately $360,000.  

Some of the criteria used in the evaluation and selection of award recipients were financial impact due to Covid-19, type of business, number of employees, time in operation in the city, other financial assistance, compliance with COVID-19 state orders, active business license, the impact of COVID to business operations, etc. 

The City received 31 applications in a wide range of areas such as services, retail, manufacturing, restaurants, automotive, etc. Many of these businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic. One of the focuses was to help out Downtown businesses. Riverbank City Manager noted “like many small businesses throughout the Country, COVID has been an extreme burden and disruption to small business viability.   We hope that this funding will help keep our local businesses in operation at least until restrictions are lifted to a level where they can resume some sense of normalcy in their business activity.  Additionally, we hope the funding can help businesses adapt with appropriate safety precautions in place”.   

Mayor Richard D. O’Brien stated “the City Council has committed to making sure that our CARES funding is used in a way that actually helps our residents and small businesses weather the storm of COVID-19.  We feel that although this funding is not nearly enough to cover the immense losses of our local businesses, it will help lessen the burden and provide an opportunity to bridge the gap between the current closures and the eventual reopening of all business sectors.” 

Vice Mayor Luis Uribe “our small businesses are the backbone of our local economy; it is critical that they receive the support they need to stay afloat during this uncertain time. We have worked to partner with local businesses through this grant program as well as helping them find ways to creatively address the challenges they face during this time.  We will get through this together by continuing to work together in a unified way to beat this virus.  I’d like to encourage everyone to continue wearing masks and follow proper social distancing protocols so that these businesses can remain safe and open. ”

This Small Business grant program is a one-time opportunity with funds received from the Federal Government. The City may be eligible to receive additional funding to continue to assist local small businesses. The small business community is strong in Riverbank, and the City hopes to encourage residents and visitors to shop local this holiday season. 

For any questions on the program, please feel free to contact Marisela Garcia at mgarcia@riverbankk.org  or 209-863-7110. 

 


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