The Fresno County Board of Supervisors and Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) joined today to announce the award of grant funds to 1,000 Fresno County small businesses impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns. The awards are thanks to the $5 million-dollar “Helping Underserved Businesses (HUB)” grant program, recently launched by Fresno County and EDC to assist local small businesses with expenses as they begin their reopening and recovery.
“Many small and micro businesses have been overlooked by the bailout programs, so in Fresno County we decided to do something about that,” said Steve Brandau, Vice Chairman of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. “We have now funded 1,000 of these businesses with a grant of $5,000 each, which we hope will lessen the impact these closures have had and help both our business community and economy get back on track.”
Funded by federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act legislation, the HUB Grant program was open to any Fresno County business with 10 or fewer full-time employees that had not yet received grants or loans to address their losses and needs.
“Small businesses fuel Fresno County’s economy, whether in cities or unincorporated areas,” said Fresno County District 1 Supervisor, Brian Pacheco. “We anticipate these grants will ease the financial burden of our local small businesses as they reopen for customers.”
The HUB Grant application period was open from May 18 through June 1, during which more than 1,600 eligible businesses applied. The 1,000 grantees were then selected by random lottery, with grants being distributed evenly across each of Fresno County’s five supervisorial districts.
Adds Lee Ann Eager, Fresno County Economic Development Corporation President/CEO, “The Fresno County Economic Development Corporation was pleased to be a part of this exciting program. Getting financial assistance out to our small businesses during this extremely difficult time is essential in order to keep our economy moving forward. The Fresno County HUB program is an example of the dedication of the Board of Supervisors and the EDC to small businesses throughout the County.”