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Funneling federal funding into local economy

Beginning Aug. 25, eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations in Placer County can begin applying for Placer Shares grant funding to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order.

To best facilitate the distribution of $8 million in grant funding, the Placer County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted to enter into an agreement with the Sierra Business Council to administer the county’s small business/non-profit grant assistance program, known as Placer Shares. The county created the program to share a portion of its federal allocation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as CARES funding. To date, Placer County is sharing a greater percentage of its federal funding than any CA County.

Supplemental grant assistance for non-profits will be administered by the Placer and Tahoe-Truckee Community Foundations.

“Placer County is committed to supporting our local businesses and nonprofits impacted during this economic crisis,” said Board Chair Bonnie Gore. “That is why the county is diverting 20% of our CARES funding, more than any other county in California, to support business and nonprofits, helping them stay open. We are a strong and resilient community. Our Board stands firm to support our local economy with everything we’ve got.”

The grant program, which will be based on need, could provide awards of up to $10,000 to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses, identified by United States Treasury guidance.

Grant applications will be accepted online Aug. 25 – Sept. 7 on the soon-to-be-launched Placer Shares website.
“It is imperative that we collaborate with local partners who understand how to expedite grant funding as effectively as possible,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “I implore eligible small businesses and nonprofits to visit the Placer Shares website beginning Aug. 25 to apply for funding.”

The Board of Supervisors on June 23 directed the County Executive Office to set aside a share of its federal CARES Act funding to establish the grant program on the premise a strong business community translates into a strong county economy.

The county anticipates receiving a total of $40 million from the federal CARES Act. California counties with more than 500,000 in population received their funding in late April, but smaller counties, like Placer, are waiting to receive funding via the state’s budget process.

Placer County’s 20% appropriation to the business and nonprofit sectors is the largest share in terms of percentage of any other county in California.