Monterey Peninsula Small Business Relief Fund Overview

Monterey Peninsula Small Business Relief Fund Overview

COVID-19 Business Resources in Monterey County, California

The Monterey Peninsula Small Business Relief Fund

Background - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented and unpredictable, which has led to a global and national crisis with public health and economic impacts. On March 17, 2020 Monterey County issued a Shelter-In-Place Order (SIP), which shuttered many businesses, and negatively impacted those that stayed open.  The original order has been extended and will remain in effect until it is rescinded, superseded or amended by the County Health Officer.

Federal and state governments have offered COVID-19 economic stimulus programs; these are limited programs with eligibility requirements that may be difficult to achieve for many small businesses.

Regional Fund – A small business relief fund (“the Fund”) is being formed and will be administered under the auspices of The Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.  Both organizations will work jointly to assist the donors (private donors, foundations and municipalities) in providing grants and/or loans to assist small businesses to remain viable. Loans will be entirely administered by the party that provides such benefit.

Objective - The objective of the Fund is to augment Federal, State and local aid by financially supplementing Monterey Peninsula businesses in hopes of reducing business closures and workforce layoffs, sustaining the local economic base and stimulating an early economic recovery.  The priorities will be on hospitality, retail, and trades.  Should the Fund receive money from municipalities in other parts of Monterey County, priorities for those assets will adapt to their local business environment.  Funds will be used for working capital, business expenses, including: payroll, rent, inventory, supplies/materials utilities, training, professional services and more.  Preference will be given to those businesses which commit to and have the most likely chance of reopening after the release of the SIP orders. 

Funding – Funds may come from a variety of private and public sources.  The Fund will accept donations from private individuals, businesses, and foundations and work with local municipalities to facilitate their reinvestment programs.  Gifts that have no geographic restrictions are eligible to be granted to any small business based on the Monterey Peninsula (Marina, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, Sand City, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and the unincorporated areas of Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley and Big Sur); Funds from municipalities will likely be restricted to businesses that fall within the boundaries of the municipality that has added to the Fund.  For instance, the City of Monterey has developed the Local Economic Stimulus Plan (LESP), funded from two sources within the City of Monterey and those funds will be used only for businesses within the city limits of Monterey. The Fund will honor any restrictions associated with these funds. This application is not an offer to lend and should not be relied upon as such.   

Process – An Administrative Oversight Committee has been formed to develop the guidelines, eligibility criteria, application form, performance requirements and disbursements from the Fund.  The process, end-to-end, is intended to facilitate rapid deployment of capital to locally owned businesses in need which will likely be able to reopen or continue to operate as allowed under governmental orders.