Resilience Fund launched to help small business owners in Truckee, North Lake Tahoe
The Resilience Fund–Sierra launched as a long-term loan platform leveraging community resources to provide small business owners within the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe region of California financial assistance, resources and guidance to weather the COVID-19 crisis and prepare for reopening.
In partnership with Sierra Business Council, the program empowers community members to help their own towns immediately. Locals and supporters of Truckee/North Lake Tahoe can invest into the fund to support economic growth. The goal of the Resilience Fund is to raise $5 million to improve 400 area businesses.
The Resilience Fund aggregates donated and invested money into a revolving fund for small businesses to access as low-interest micro loans, most ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, for use as operating capital. Businesses put through the program also access a network of professional consultants across industries to revamp existing operations, strategize communicating changes to their stakeholders, and maximize productivity during closures. Eligible businesses must have been in sound operation prior to the COVID shutdown and be able to prove how the funds will help them reopen.
“Small businesses make up our town’s character and they need their communities’ help, especially now that the dust has settled from insufficient federal loan disbursements. The Resilience Fund provides much needed capital to pay for rent, employees, replace inventory, help transition to alternative service delivery models, and make strategic improvements during temporary shutdowns,” said Kristin York, vice president of business innovation at Sierra Business Council’s Sierra Small Business Development Center.
On the other side of the pandemic, funds will continue to be invested into the revolving loan, so small business owners can access micro loans to help with startup costs, finance capital improvement projects, improve their business model, increase their reach, and more.
“The vision for the Resilience Fund is to create a permanent relief structure for small business owners to handle future challenges, things like wildfire, flood, recessions, and events that impact the economy. It’s unsure at this time what future operations will look like, but with the Resilience Fund in place community members can impact their own economic success by investing and creating the foundation for long-term growth,” said Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council president.
There are many ways to invest into the community: through monetary donations made on the Resilience Fund website as charitable contributions, from accredited investors lending directly to the fund, and by devoting time and resources to coaching fellow area entrepreneurs for the betterment of our region. To learn more about the Resilience Fund–Sierra, apply for assistance from the platform, or apply to become a business coach at visitResilienceFund.org.
Truckee gets involved
Truckee Tomorrow — the public/private partnership between the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, Truckee and private investors — announced a $100,000 donation to the Resilience Fund.
“Many people in town have been asking “how can we help” — this Resilience Fund provides the avenue through which to do so,” said John Manocchio, Truckee Chamber of Commerce chairman. “We all care deeply about our community and our small businesses that are the fabric of our community. They define us and they are critical to our recovery as an authentic mountain town and a strong, vibrant community. Truckee takes care of our own, and by helping one another, together we will get through this.”
Truckee made a $50,000 investment of economic development funds into the fund.
“It’s been a priority of the Town Council for many years to designate some of our funds toward economic activities to strengthen and diversify our economy,” said Mayor Dave Polivy. “We are proud to be partnering with the Truckee Chamber of Commerce and the Truckee Tomorrow private investors to make this contribution and hope it acts as a catalyst for further donations.”
The Truckee Tomorrow private investors matched the town’s donation with another $50,000 investment.
“It’s pretty simple. We have to help the small businesses of Truckee,” said Doug Wright, President of Mountain Hardware & Sports, one of Truckee Tomorrow’s private investors. “They are our friends, our neighbors, our community. We recognize many of them are in serious need and may be on the verge of not being able to reopen. It’s our responsibility, and the right thing to do to extend this helping hand to them at their time of need.”
Several of the Truckee Tomorrow private investors have stepped up with additional contributions toward the Resilience Fund and the continuation of the work Truckee Tomorrow has done to date. While Truckee Tomorrow is pivoting to address needs regarding the outbreak of COVID-19, the work on the three projects that have been the focus for the past years continues, including:
• TruckeeJobsCollective.com — an online platform created to connect job seekers with employers. This platform will be even more important as businesses begin their recovery effort.
• Growing Our Own — working collaboratively with Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and Sierra College to increase awareness of existing programs, and identify creative opportunities to strengthen the connection between the business community to education providers through shadow programs, training and more.
• Developing Truckee as an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem — a long-term, forward-thinking approach to diversifying Truckee’s economy in the next three to five to 10 years. A healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem requires financial capital as well as the creation of capital models — the Resilience Fund directly correlates to this need identified by this Project Team.
“The collaborative spirit, passion and commitment our investors and community members have shown through their participation in the Project Teams is significant,” said Pam Hobday, Truckee Tomorrow project director and past chair of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce. “The town of Truckee as our primary partner, in addition to all of our Investors and their three-year commitments, are to be recognized for their investment in Truckee’s economic future. They all believe in Truckee Tomorrow and want to make a difference. We thank them from the bottom of our heart.”
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Through the final week of August and into September, Nevada County saw a surge of 488 confirmed COVID-19 cases, marking the highest number since early in the pandemic.