Jim Mayfield, Community Foundation board member and owner of Rainbow Ag, believes, “This local, private effort will send a message that these risk-takers have community support. This support may make the difference in their ability to survive the shutdown. Entrepreneurs are creative and sometimes just a little help will encourage and nurture their good idea. This is truly a neighbor helping neighbor effort.”

Mayfield understands the impact this pandemic can have on our local economy, and has been inspired to become a donor to the new fund. “Private philanthropy and giving back to the community can be strategic by encouraging economic development,” Mayfield tells me. “Our local jobs, income, and tax base are dependent on local small business. Without them we have no community. Many small businesses in Mendocino County will not survive the Covid-19 shutdown but others will benefit from a bit of help. These funds may give them the ability to re-think their business model, or buy that special piece of equipment.  Most importantly, it will send a strong message that locals can do good locally.”

We are fortunate to have an anonymous starting gift of $100,000 that we are looking to match. We are thrilled to report that lead matching gifts have been received from the J-Olivanti Fund and the Mayfield Economic Development Fund at the Community Foundation. In addition, gifts from our Ted and Wilma Westman Fund, the Jim and Babbie Mayfield Fund, the Kevin and Bree Klotter Charitable Trust, as well as from Pacific Gas & Electric have started off our fundraising efforts toward our goal of $300,000.

Mendocino County is a community thriving on small businesses, and when COVID-19 hit and we began to shelter-in-place, these mom-and-pop institutions were the first hit. We know the value of supporting our local economy, and we hope that by partnering with WBDC and our generous donors we can help these critical businesses weather the storm. We hope you will join us in our efforts.

To learn more, or make a donation, visit Business Innovation and Resiliency Fund