August 12, 2020
$100,000 in Grants Awarded
to Local Small Businesses
“We knew small businesses would get hit hard by the pandemic in Mendocino County,” said donors Tom Dow and Gina Marie Lindsey. “Which is why we wanted to support the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund. We wanted to help our local economy through this crisis, and we trust the Community Foundation to know how best to provide that support.” It was through the generosity of donors such as Dow and Lindsey that we were able to establish the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund. Micro-businesses make up 82% of Mendocino County industries and play an important role in the success of our local economy. Even before this crisis, nearly half of the nation’s 30 million small businesses only had enough cash on hand to operate for 15 days without customers. This is why when the Business Innovation and Resiliency Grant launched in partnership with West Business Development Center, 90 micro-businesses applied for much needed assistance, each looking for new ways to pivot to serve their industry during the pandemic and beyond.
The first grant of $100,000 was made to West Business Development Center to re-grant to micro-businesses in Mendocino County. Recipients were then selected based on multiple criteria, including their long-term viability and their ability to support a new business model, creative service, or product. After receiving the applications, a selection committee comprised of local business experts selected 21 micro-businesses from throughout Mendocino County and across industries including retail, food, health, beauty, travel, construction, and automotive repair. Recipients will also benefit from one-on-one advising sessions and training from West. “We are grateful to the community who helped to fund this grant so that we could distribute this money to many business owners in need,” said Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO of West Business Development Center.

Donor Sandy Mayfield was thrilled to be able to support local salons as an homage to her late mother. One of many sectors forced to pivot, salons are looking at new ways to serve their customers. Style Salon owner Marisol Hernandez was thrilled to learn she had received a much-needed grant. “It has always been a dream of mine to open a beauty salon and when I opened Style Salon in Fort Bragg, I realized that we need to train the next generation of cosmetology technicians in our community,” Hernandez said. “I am so excited to receive this grant so that I can help young people to start a career in the beauty industry and bring my business to the next level by creating a website with an online store and professional videos. Thank you so much for the support!”
Supporting small businesses across industries is important to our donors, including Jim and Barbara Mayfield who knew that food providers were one of the many industries that would struggle with the shutdown. So they were delighted their donation would help support Fortunate Farm to take their business in Caspar to the next level. "For six years, we have grown toward greater food resiliency on the Mendocino County coast by providing fresh, locally grown produce to our customers,” Gowan Batist of Fortunate Farm said. “In these uncertain times, that quest has become imperative. This grant through the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund will allow us more capacity and flexibility to grow and store more food, as well as increase our partnership synergies with other farmers. We are excited and grateful for this boost!"

The next round of grants will open to Mendocino County micro-businesses in September. We know that as the shutdown persists our local businesses will continue to need our support. Our donors understood the critical role these business owners serve in our local economy, and joined in matching a starting gift of $100,000. We have now raised $212,967 and have a goal to raise $300,000 to help our local micro-businesses. Will you help us reach our goal to support small businesses in Mendocino County?
To learn more about the Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund, or to donate, visit: Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund
RESOURCES:

  • To learn more about The Community Foundation of Mendocino County's response to COVID-19 please visit www.communityfound.org/COVID19/
  • Resources available to the non-profit community can be found on our website HERE.
  • Resources available to Individuals and Families can be found on our website HERE.
  • To stay apprised of the latest information on the virus, we recommend following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing the spread of the disease. While we still do not know all the facts about COVID-19, the CDC has collected frequently asked questions on their website which may answer many of your questions.
  • To stay informed of developments in Mendocino County, we recommend following the County of Mendocino updates.
 Staff
Megan Barber Allende, CEO
Carolyn Welch, Controller
Allison Findley, Program Officer
Amy Lutz, Grant Administrator
Michelle Rich, Special Projects Manager
Neil DiBernardo, Administrative Manager  
Rose Bell, Project Manager for Mendocino-ROC
and Communications Manager


The Community Foundation of Mendocino County
204 South Oak Street · Ukiah, CA 95482 · (707) 468-9882