I always like to remind people that we serve a large region in Northern California at AEDC that includes Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Lake, Mendocino and Siskiyou Counties. To be honest, we haven't always had the capacity to serve them all as well as we like. It's a large geographic reach. One of the few benefits of the pandemic, however has been the ability to work more seamlessly across county lines. By offering PPP Loans, we found ourselves connecting with businesses throughout the whole region. We also recently received $1M from the EDA to serve Del Norte County, specifically.

It is important to us that we serve our entire region. Even with the new videoconferencing capability we now have available, nothing beats getting to meet face to face. When the North Coast SBDC said they were moving to an office in Crescent City, we were thrilled for the opportunity to partner with them to keep a desk in their office. This will give us the opportunity to schedule visits with our Del Norte clients and future clients at least once a month with personal face-to-face meetings. We will also continue to be available via phone and ZOOM at any time. Our new Loan Officer Hannah Joy (above) has already made a couple visits, and she's excited to get there more often.

Our regional work goes beyond lending, too. We are continuing to work on the Redwood Coast Regional Summit and we are even working on a new regional leadership program to develop collaborations that can help build the prosperity across county lines. We have been visiting and meeting with leaders from Mendocino, Lake and Del Norte Counties in these efforts. Our lending reach has also grown with the new outreach with loans coming from Del Norte, Mendocino and Lake Counties in the last few months. We will talk more about these projects in future newsletters.

While we started in Arcata, we certainly span much further geographically. While we are sometimes called a small business lending center, you can read in the stories below that we offer far more than loans. While our name can be confusing, our mission is not and we are excited to continue to offer opportunities for economic and equitable growth in the whole region.

-- Ross