Aid for community-based groups, small businesses approved by Elk Grove

At last night's regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved two individual measures meant to offer assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency.

The first measure approved was an assistance expenditure for several community-based aid groups providing services for their clients, many of whom have been the most negatively affected by the shelter-in-place order. Their clientele range from senior citizens, individuals experiencing homelessness, families struggling to provide food, and infants and their mothers in need of nutritional supplements and hygienic supplies. 

The groups receiving the funding include Chicks in Crisis, Elk Grove Food Bank, Elk Grove HART (homeless assistance), Meals on Wheels, Sacramento Self Help Housing, Senior Center of Elk Grove, and Uplift Elk Grove (utility assistance). The funding provided for each group is in the table below.  

The funding for the groups comes from the $543,000 the city expects to receive from the recently passed COVID19 federal $2 trillion stimulus program. The city council will possibly extend additional grants as the effects of the economic recession are clearer.  

For small businesses, the city council decided to expand on an existing program where money from the city's general fund is deposited in local banks with the intent of providing access to Elk Grove-based small businesses. The city currently has about $15 million deposited in local-based banks for that purpose.

Because the additional guaranteed $1 million deposited will not bear interest, the city council needed to approve the deviation. The extra money is aimed at Elk Grove, small businesses adversely affected by the business slowdown. 

The program, called LIFT, was also approved on Tuesday night by the Rancho Cordova City Council and was developed with the assistance of Sacramento-based business advocacy group Region Business. Joshua Wood, executive director of the group, said the program would help a host of local businesses.   

"Lift Investing is pleased to partner with the City of Elk Grove and other agencies in the region to provide emergency relief funding for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis," Wood said. "Our programs which encourage businesses and agencies to move their banking and investments into locally headquartered community banks who through the Lift Investing are based upon belief that locally held access to capital is a crucial element to economic growth."

The city council said they would consider expanding the program by an additional $1.5 million depending on the results of the initial $1 million deposit. The city's economic development department is responsible for monitoring the program and will coordinate outreach efforts with Region Business.  

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