Sierra Small Business Resources: An Update from our Associate Director

Jessica Carr

Jessica Carr

Associate Director, Sierra SBDC

September is fast approaching, and with it, the six-month mark since the global pandemic brought closures, shelter-in-place orders, and other devastating economic consequences to our Sierra communities and small-business based economies. These are unprecedented times and immense challenges are still to come for small businesses that have already weathered so much uncertainty. 

In the Sierra Nevada, small businesses are the backbone of our communities. Since March, the Sierra Small Business Development Center at Sierra Business Council has been all hands on deck to provide the support necessary in order to survive the closures, mandates, statewide regulations, capital needs, and other challenges facing our neighbors.

Through collaboration, partnerships, and advisors across Northern California, we have been able to create strong programming to encourage business survival. Some of these are highlighted below. Our small but mighty team has worked incredibly hard to bring these resources to the impacted communities as quickly as possible. In addition, our business advisors have helped nearly a thousand clients with one-on-one advising related to COVID-19. From understanding the EIDL and PPP lending programs available from the federal government, to pivoting your business to online selling and working on HR plans to bring back employees, SBDC expertise covers a wide range of topics. Please help us spread the word about these critical resources available to the small businesses in our communities.

Resilience Fund

Created in April to address financing gaps in federal resources, this locally seeded fund provides up to $25,000 in loans with 2% interest rate and deferred payments to small businesses throughout the Truckee/Tahoe basin. With over 20 loans approved so far, the Resilience Fund is just getting started in providing the critical access to flexible financing that businesses need to make necessary changes to operations.

Nevada County Relief Fund

Nevada County donors have awarded $400,000 in microgrants to the community so far, and now the County is providing an even larger match of $250,000 to be distributed. These microgrants do not have to be paid back and are intended to support ongoing business operations and recovery needs throughout all of Nevada County. Round 3 of funding is open NOW and closes Aug 28.

Placer County SHARES

Placer County launches its new SHARES program on August 25th, when small businesses across the County will be eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in grant funding for COVID-19 recovery and response. The County set aside $7million for their small businesses. Apply here

Ask SBDC & Caseforce

The Sierra SBDC is part of the larger Northern California SBDC network and as such has access to incredible resources, such as free weekly calls to go over the newest resources available and answer all your questions about disaster recovery efforts like the PPP. On Wednesdays, they partner with legal aid services to provide free legal advice as well. Sign up here.

Live Webinars

The Sierra SBDC is bringing new webinars in August and September, including a monthly meeting of Digital Marketing Hour, to ensure that businesses are able to succeed in the new online world. The next free workshop coming up is “Repositioning a Seasonal Tourism Business” on Sept 15, which will be a critical topic in Tahoe/Truckee. Sign up and see more listings here.

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