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Small business in downtown San Luis Obispo yet to receive pandemic relief grant

sheila kearns.PNG
Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 01:11:13-04

Back in April, small businesses in San Luis Obispo County were invited to apply for pandemic relief grants up to $10,000. But nearly four months later, one business that was informed they'd be getting one of those grants, says they still haven't received the money.

Sheila Kearns of Sheila Kearns Chocolate and Confections on Marsh Street in downtown San Luis Obispo says her business was set to receive $5,000 in pandemic relief grants over two months ago.

In the time since then, Kearns says she has tried reaching out to the South County Chamber of Commerce as well as San Luis Obispo County officials for an update on when she'll get the money.

She tells KSBY that she is simply looking for answers.

"At some point, they just stopped returning my emails, which is really strange." remarked Kearns. "We are actually going to be using our line of credit which costs us money because we budgeted for that [grant], and we planned out months in advance."

KSBY News tried contacting the County of San Luis Obispo Tuesday morning to find out what was going on, but we were told no one would be able to talk to us on camera.

The Economic Development Manager for the County sent us an email that read, "The County has awarded 95 grants to eligible small businesses to mitigate financial hardships from the pandemic or to mitigate financial hardships from the pandemic or to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics. All of the grants have been sent for payment and the final batch of checks will be in the mail by Thursday, August 25."

They also say they appreciate the patience of the small business community as they continue working through the grant process.

Just hours after we spoke with Sheila Kearns on Tuesday, she let us know that someone with the County had since reached out to her, saying the checks were now being mailed out.