Temecula issues first round of emergency relief grants

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The city of Temecula recently announced that the first round of funding has been transferred to Temecula small-business owners as part of a grant program called Temecula Assist.

“Temecula Assist provides direct support to our small local businesses, the backbone of Temecula’s economy,” Maryann Edwards, mayor pro tem of Temecula, said. “These grants will help small-business owners pay rent, keep employees on the payroll or modify their storefronts to meet current state-mandated health regulations.”

The Small Business Emergency Relief Grant was approved by the city council during the Thursday, May 21, budget meeting to help local businesses cope with the financial effects relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we value our businesses, we value our nonprofits and rather than just stating it, let’s put together a loan program,” Schwank said during the meeting. “If our local businesses are impacted and they haven’t been able to receive any financial aid from the federal government, and we’re in a pretty good spot financially, maybe that’s a space for us to fill. We can actually step up and help these that are suffering and get them back on their feet.”

In all, $500,000 was allocated to the program, and applications were accepted from May 26 to June 9.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 25, the city has cut checks to 19 businesses as part of the Rent Recovery and Job Retention track and 29 businesses in the Business Improvement track.

The Rent Recovery and Job Retention was funded with $329,000 from the Community Development Block Grant, and the Business Improvement track was paid for with the city’s general fund money.

The Rent Recovery and Job Retention track provided a maximum of $10,000 for each business and the Business Improvement track was capped at $5,000 for each business.

The city said recipients were chosen “via a third-party lottery system and were then verified through an application and agreement process.”

A list of all the businesses that were awarded grants can be found on the city’s website at https://temeculaca.gov/1406/Temecula-Assist.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.