North Coast U.S. Rep. visits area businesses to check on how COVID-19 programs have helped

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM)- U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) stopped by a few area businesses Friday, to find out how COVID-19 relief programs have helped.

Huffman spent the first part of the day visiting Humboldt County small businesses, he says there are success stories.

“As a congressman, I was working to try to stand up these huge programs that no one ever heard of,” said Huffman.

Such as the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, and is meant to provide critical support to state, local, tribal and territorial government.

California will receive a total of $42.63 billion in federal assistance, with $16.02 billion assigned to local governments and $26.07 billion towards state government.

“How do you move hundreds, of billions of dollars, actually to folks in desperate need,” he said.

Huffman credits the help of local community lenders and small business advocates.

“The way this community weathered the storm the past year, there’s a lot of celebrate there,” he said.

  • Del Norte County and its cities will receive 5.39 million, $1,277,504 of will go to Crescent City.
  • Humboldt County and its cities will receive 26.29 million.
    • City of Arcata – $3,469,232
    • City of Blue Lake – $234,343 
    • City of Eureka – $5,027,572
    • City of Ferndale – $254,484 
    • City of Fortuna – $2,307,488 

Adam Dick is a co-owner of Dick Taylor Chocolates in Old Town Eureka.

“In six or so months we’ll be down here to this new building,” said Adam Dick, a co-owner of Dick Taylor Chocolates.

The owners are in the process of moving their business to the waterfront, risky but promising.

“A lot of questioning whether we would just abandon the project, and as it turns out we actually had a good year,” said Dick.

Owners of the Historic Eagle House Inn, also in Old Town Eureka, say, they had no choice but to adapt.

“This past year we couldn’t do anything, which is why we pivoted and opened a restaurant here, Phatsy Klines”, said Jenny Metz, who is co-owner of the businesses.

Six Rivers Brewery Co-owner Meredith Maier says her business, which is in McKinleyville, received funds from the Payroll Protection Program

“We found out pretty late in the game, which I am sure a lot of small business owners didn’t know that we were going to be taxed,” she said.

Taxed in in the form of state income tax, which was a huge surprise.

“That definitely put the brakes on some of those projects,” she said.

Maier says local business will bounce back with the help of the community.

“If everyone really digs in and spends a little more dollar on things made locally, and produced locally and owned locally,” she said.  

Additional resources on the American Rescue Plan are available here.

A full list of state and local allocations can be found here.

For more information about the Paycheck (payroll) Protection Plan click here.