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Chowchilla City Council issues grants to business program applicants

CHOWCHILLA — Pursuant to the adoption of Resolution No. 34-20, the Chowchilla City Council authorized the creation of the “Save Our Community Businesses Program.”

Allocated, initially, was $100,000 to be awarded to local businesses as a grant program by the Community and Economic Development Department. The city was fortunate to receive generous donations, totaling $6,275 from companies and organizations, such as the Chowchilla District Chamber of Commerce, Mid Valley Disposal, and various community members. The total program funds of $106,275 will be divided among all the applicants that have shown an adverse impact on their business from the pandemic.

Of the applicants, 39 are eligible and will be receiving a sum of $2,725 to aid with their expenditures. In speaking with the applicants, some businesses have reported a drastic decline of approximately 95 percent in their monthly sales revenue. Many businesses that are classified by the county as essential have also been significantly impacted.

Although they are open for business under modified operations, one fast-food restaurant reported they were grossing an average of $7,000 per day prior to COVID-19, and are now operating at 10 percent of their average income.

“Oh behalf of the City Council, we would like our businesses to know we understand the economic hardship they are now suffering. We hope the funds from this program will give some much-needed assistance,” said City of Chowchilla Mayor Waseem Ahmed. “We understand it will not cover all their losses, but it will help aid with some of their expenditures.”

City officials continue to search for additional funding sources to bolster the longevity and effectiveness of the program. If other funding sources are discovered, it would then be presented to the City Council to consider the approval of dispersing additional funds.

There may be additional guidelines and requirements that need to be met, that are currently not outlined within this current program.

City Administrator Rod Pruett, again, would like to thank the City Council members who have graciously donated their council salaries.

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