When former mayor Derek Timm announced that Scotts Valley would be giving out cash to needy local businesses during his State of the City address at the beginning of October, it was welcome news for business owners who have faced seemingly endless trials during the pandemic.
The hope was that companies could begin to apply within weeks, although during multiple Scotts Valley City Council meetings officials explained there continued to be delays—thanks to red tape in Sacramento.
Just before Christmas, on Dec. 20, Scotts Valley announced it had received the $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant Cares Act funding and was gearing up to dole it out.
This pot of money has been created to reimburse eligible businesses for rent, mortgage and utility costs related to the pandemic. Expenses incurred between April 2020 and December 2021 count.
The City partnered with the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Cruz Small Business Development Corporation to develop and launch the program.
Brian Haddix, who was Scott’s Valley interim city manager during the fall, said he’s proud of the work he did on helping put the puzzle pieces together.
For mom-and-pop shops, a little infusion of capital goes a long way, he noted.
“When you’re a small business owner, it’s all about, ‘Can I make payroll? Can I make orders?’” Haddix said. “It’s like week-to-week.”
When contacted in December, Haddix said the major priorities he’d been working on had already been wrapped up, so he voluntarily agreed to leave early after talking it over with Timm. Casey Estorga, the City’s Administrative Services Director, was named the acting city manager until Mali LaGoe takes over as permanent chief executive.
Haddix said he was surprised to hear there’d been a delay at the state level for the commercial pandemic relief.
“It’s like a plane coming in for [a] landing,” he said. “I had not heard it didn’t land.”
Timm says the cash infusion will provide key support to local businesses that have been battered by the winds of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The funding helps support business owners who sustained their operations, and retained employees despite a loss in revenues, throughout the pandemic,” he said in a release.
Officials say they expect money to begin flowing in February.
A Zoom “town hall” meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6pm for local businesses to learn more about the grant program and discuss the application process. The Zoom link and information about eligibility requirements and the grant application process can all be found online at ScottsValley.org. For information, contact the City of Scotts Valley at 831-440-5610.