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Orange County Provides $2 Million in Economic Aid: $500,000 for Santa Ana Safe Dining Project, More Cities to Follow
The County of Orange is providing $2 million in economic support for struggling small businesses in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster/Midway City, and Fountain Valley.
The First District Cities of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster/Midway City, and Fountain Valley will each receive $500,000 to support small businesses in targeted economic development zones.
“Small businesses are struggling, especially in downtown areas that rely on heavy foot traffic to turn a profit,” said Chairman Andrew Do, who represents the First District. “My small business grant program will provide additional help in a targeted way to bring vibrancy back to areas hit hard by the economic downturn.”
On December 15, 2020, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported Chairman Do’s proposal to set aside $10 million in General Funds for small business economic support programs. The funds were split equally between all five supervisorial districts, allowing each Supervisor to allocate their districts’ designated funding to meet the economic needs of small businesses in their districts.
The small business development grants in the First District will be used for targeted improvements, including increased space for socially distanced dining, more options for businesses to take operations outdoors, and other improvements to increase ease of access for customers.
“I’m working directly with each city in my district to identify economic development zones that will benefit the most from an infusion of cash, making shopping at local businesses safer and more convenient as we reopen more of our economy,” said Chairman Do.
City of Santa Ana
In Santa Ana, the $500,000 grant will be used for a Safe Dining project to benefit areas along or within 500 feet of 1st Street or 17th Street in the First District. This tailored approach is intended to directly support some of the hardest-hit areas in the city with the installation of custom parklets. While the County is currently in the Red Tier, allowing some indoor dining, capacity is still severely restricted. Additional outdoor dining space will increase the number of customers a restaurant can accommodate, assisting in their recovery.
Once an agreement has been reached with each First District city, details on the economic development zone and spending plans will be shared on their respective websites.
Previous Orange County Grant Programs
The $10 million economic recovery program is just one of many the County of Orange has initiated over the course of the pandemic targeted at supporting local businesses.
• In June 2020, the Board allocated $75 million in CARES Act funding for direct grants to small businesses, nonprofits, and independent contractors.
• In August 2020, $10 million was set aside for the Safe Dine OC program to help restaurants keep their employees and customers safe from COVID-19 by providing cash grants to cover the costs of cleaning supplies and Personal Protective Equipment.
• In October 2020, $5 million of CARES Act funding was provided to assist childcare providers for pandemic-related expenses.
• And in November 2020, $2 million was allocated for outdoor dining operations in Orange County.
Orange County Chairman Andrew Do represents the First District communities of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, Fountain Valley, and Midway City. One of the first officials in the state to propose a face covering mandate, Chairman Andrew Do is advocating for science-based COVID-19 policies. In addition to health and safety-based COVID-19 response planning, he has reformed Orange County’s mental health services, expanded access to health care, and led efforts to combat homelessness.