There’s an additional $1 million in COVID aid cash for Shasta County companies

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There's an extra $1 million in COVID relief money for Shasta County businesses

Eligible small businesses in Shasta County that are struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic will get an additional $1 million in COVID-19 relief money after the Board of Supervisors approved the funds Tuesday.

Logan’s Roadhouse on Hilltop Drive in Redding offered outdoor dining under its covered patio on a cool and rainy Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, as Shasta County sat in the state’s purple tier due to COVID-19.

Jordan Lewellyn, left, and Michael Bledsoe look over the menu at the Black Bear Diner on Hilltop Drive in Redding before making a to-go order on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. They came to the restaurant for a sit-down meal but needed to order take-out because Shasta County is in the purple tier, which doesn’t allow indoor dining.

Sean Gibson of Berkeley, who’s visiting family in Redding, picks up his Mr. Crispy chicken-and-waffle order from the Chicken Shack on Churn Creek Road on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Gibson ordered take-out as Shasta County is in the purple tier due to COVID-19.

The Black Bear Diner on Hilltop Drive in Redding was offering take-out and filling orders through delivery services on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, while Shasta County sat in the purple tier due to COVID-19. The restaurant also has a tent in its parking lot for outdoor dining when it isn’t raining.

A sign welcomes customers to the Black Bear Diner on Hilltop Drive in Redding on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. The restaurant has a tent in its parking lot for outside dining and offers take-out while Shasta County is in the purple tier due to COVID-19. The tent closed down temporarily Tuesday after breakfast when it started raining as an electrical precaution because of lights and heating inside.

The Black Bear Diner on Hilltop Drive in Redding has a tent in its parking lot for outside dining and offers take-out while Shasta County is in the purple tier due to COVID-19. The tent temporarily closed down after breakfast Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, when it started raining as an electrical precaution because of lights and heating inside.

A sign at the Casino Club offers an uplifting message to drivers along Hilltop Drive in Redding on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, as Shasta County sits in the state’s purple tier due to COVID-19.

The San Francisco Deli on Athens Avenue in Redding has its lights on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, as Shasta County sits in the purple tier due to COVID-19.

Sign outside Cattlemens on Hilltop Drive in Redding says the restaurant is open for take-out and raw steaks on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, as Shasta County sits in the purple tier due to COVID-19.

C.R. Gibbs American Grille on Hilltop Drive in Redding offers dining in an outdoor courtyard during Shasta County’s purple tier, although there weren’t many takers on a rainy and cool Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.

A tent for outdoor dining sits outside Marie Callender’s restaurant on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.

Signs in the window at Planet Fitness on Hilltop Drive in Redding say the gym is closed during Shasta County’s purple tier status on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.

A sign outside the Casa Ramos Méxican Restaurant on Hilltop Drive in Redding points the way to outdoor dining in a tent on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, although diners were going inside at lunchtime.

The Casa Ramos Méxican Restaurant on Hilltop Drive in Redding offers a tent for outdoor dining on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, although diners were going inside at lunchtime.

Server Ricardo Pinuelas delivers a lunchtime meal to Rosalba and Juan Juarez outside the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant on East Cypress Avenue during a cold and rainy Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. With Shasta County in the purple tier due to COVID-19, restaurants are supposed to serve diners outside but can also offer take-out and delivery.

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The extra $1 million is in addition to the $3 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money supervisors approved for relief grants in September. That money has already been exhausted as 370 businesses and nonprofits qualified for grants of up to $10,000 each.





© Mike Chapman/Record Searchlight
Jordan Lewellyn, left, and Michael Bledsoe look over the menu at the Black Bear Diner on Hilltop Drive in Redding before making a to-go order on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. They came to the restaurant for a sit-down meal but needed to order take-out because Shasta County is in the purple tier, which doesn’t allow indoor dining.

Jake Mangas, president of the Redding Chamber of Commerce, told supervisors that there are about 80 small businesses on a waiting list, and they have told the chamber they need approximately a combined $900,000 in relief help.



a man holding a hot dog: Server Ricardo Pinuelas delivers a lunchtime meal to Rosalba and Juan Juarez outside the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant on East Cypress Avenue during a cold and rainy Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. With Shasta County in the purple tier due to COVID-19, restaurants are supposed to serve diners outside but can also offer take-out and delivery.


© Mike Chapman/Record Searchlight
Server Ricardo Pinuelas delivers a lunchtime meal to Rosalba and Juan Juarez outside the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant on East Cypress Avenue during a cold and rainy Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. With Shasta County in the purple tier due to COVID-19, restaurants are supposed to serve diners outside but can also offer take-out and delivery.

“We know with the persistence of the purple tier … we are going to see that number increase,” Mangas said.

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RELATED: Shasta County businesses to get up to $3 million in COVID aid. Here’s how

“We think we are in a very critical stretch of time,” he said.

While Tuesday’s vote was unanimous, District 5 Supervisor Les Baugh lobbied for more money for businesses, suggesting redirecting the needed funds from public health.

Baugh said money in public health’s existing budget could be used to help businesses.

“If we’re substituting any money at all at directing existing expenses into COVID expenses, including any form of administrative dollars, overhead or operational expenses, then that money already exists,” Baugh said.

Baugh‘s suggestion to take money from public health comes as COVID-19 cases are exploding in Shasta County. Since Nov. 1, the county’s case count is up to 1,361.

There are 26 people hospitalized with the virus in Shasta County with three of those in intensive care, county officials said Tuesday.

“The case rates we have right now are extremely high. It’s really the worst situation we have been in since this pandemic started in terms of case numbers,” county Health Officer Dr. Karen Ramstrom told supervisors.



a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Supervisor Joe Chimenti


© Mike Chapman/Record Searchlight
Supervisor Joe Chimenti

Both District 1 Supervisor Joe Chimenti and District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty expressed concern for health care resources and workers as numbers rise.

“We are going to have our nurses and our doctors pretty overwhelmed pretty soon,” Moty said.

With Shasta County in the purple tier, the meeting was held virtually with all five supervisors chiming in via the internet.

Initially, Baugh didn’t specify where the extra money for businesses would come from, at one point saying, “Frankly, I don’t care where it comes from as long as we support our small businesses.”

District 4 Supervisor Steve Morgan agreed that businesses should get more money, but not at the expense of public safety. District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert agreed.

RELATED: Shasta County will soon get second state-sponsored COVID-19 testing site

That’s when Baugh came back and clarified that he would take the money from public health.



a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Supervisor Les Baugh


© Mike Chapman/Record Searchlight
Supervisor Les Baugh

“If it doesn’t happen today, will it happen in time? … Those businesses are going broke today,” Baugh said of the need for more money.

Chimenti, who’s been working with Mangas, said helping businesses is important, but the extra $1 million was based on feedback from businesses.

“The process we are following is to ask the business owners what it is they need,” Chimenti said, adding that this is to ensure that the money is spent wisely.

In approving the $1 million, the supervisors asked Mangas to keep them updated on the potential need for more funds to help businesses.

“There’s no reason we can’t start another waiting list because we don’t know where this (pandemic) is going,” Chimenti said. 

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David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly “Buzz on the Street” column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: There’s an extra $1 million in COVID relief money for Shasta County businesses

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