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SLO Co. grant program launches to help organizations, non-profits impacted by COVID-19

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Posted at 8:44 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 23:44:40-05

A $5.5 million grant program designed to help local non-profits and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is now available in San Luis Obispo county.

The funding is coming from SLO County’s share of the Federal American Rescue Plan Act.

“We hope that this grant opportunity will provide a form of relief for our non-profit organizations and also for those organizations that support our very vibrant small business community," said Laura Fiedler, SLO County economic development manager.

There are two categories of funding available.

The first program is geared toward non-profits that have experienced financial hardships from the pandemic. Something People’s Self-Help Housing has seen with cancellations of in-person fundraisers.

“That’s been a big challenge for us. Some of those events we would have in person we’ve had to cancel," said Kenneth Trigueiro, CEO of People's Self-Help Housing.

The second is for local organizations providing technical assistance to businesses, workforce development and job training for people impacted by COVID-19. County officials say they hope to award multiple organizations.

“For the non-profit one, the county is seeking to award up to $3 million to local non-profits. For the second program, which is the category of business technical assistance, the county seeks to award up to $2.5 million," said Fiedler.  

Non-profit agencies have been working around the clock during this pandemic and say they have seen an increase in the number of community members in need. The funding could bring in more resources.

“We’ve got teachers that are helping out the kids with their homework. We’ve had increased requests for additional assistance to get them through their homework especially because it’s been remote a lot of that time," said Trigueiro.

“Every single week we are seeing more people come to our pantry that are new to food insecurity," said Garret Olson, SLO Food Bank CEO.

County officials tell me they do expect to open another round of small business grants for COVID-19 relief in the coming weeks.

The first program applications are due March 1.

The second program applications are due February 23.

More information can be found here or can be directed to (805) 781-5011.