SAMCEDA – Leading the Charge to Support Our Local Business Community
April 29, 2020
As you could imagine, this shelter-in-place order has been particularly hard on small business owners who have had to either shut down or significantly reduce staff and operations until restrictions are lifted. The federal government has provided some options for financial assistance to these struggling businesses, but that alone won’t be sufficient to keep everyone afloat given the demand for financial aid. Fortunately for us here in San Mateo County, we have an incredible advocate for our local business community in the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, headed by President & CEO, Rosanne Foust.
Rosanne joined our weekly networking meeting in person in the Fall of last year, but clearly a lot has changed since then so we invited her back to update our group on what SAMCEDA has been doing to help support our local business community during these challenging times. As it turns out, they’ve been doing quite a lot. Below is a brief synopsis:
SAMCEDA was asked by San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy to join his COVID-19 task force, and was attached to the County of San Mateo’s Emergency Operations Center as the business lead in early March. In this capacity, Rosanne and SAMCEDA are involved on a daily basis with the following activities:
- Work with the County Manager’s office and Silicon Valley Community Foundation to plan, develop, and launch the San Mateo County Strong Fund to raise funds for individuals and families and nonprofits. Initial $2 Million donation by SMC BOS from Measure K funds. (SVCF also has a regional 10 county fundraising effort for core service agencies and a non-profit effort for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.)
- Worked with the County Manager’s office and San Mateo Credit Union to plan, develop and launch the San Mateo County Strong Fund small business grant program with $1 million in seed funding from the County of San Mateo. More Information here: https://www.smcstrong.org/smallbusinessgrants
- Organize and coordinate major gift fundraising with key elected officials for the San Mateo County Strong Fund.
- Presentations to city and town councils about SAMCEDA’s work, the San Mateo County Strong Fund, and request city, foundation, and corporate contributions to the small business grant program. To date over $1.3 million has been raised from cities alone to expand the grant program beyond the $1 million in seed funding from the County of San Mateo.
- Hold regular briefings for chamber CEO’s, CVB, city managers and economic development professionals, and other groups as needed.
- Working with the County Manager’s office to identify a technical assistance volunteer corps of local attorneys, HR professionals, accountants, etc., that will help educate people about local, state, and SBA emergency assistance programs.
- Member of the County Manager’s Long Range Planning Steering Committee and working with consultant IEM on getting San Mateo County back on its feet.
- Participate in regular County Manager and EOC briefings for elected officials at federal, state and local levels, 20 city managers, public safety chiefs and other key stakeholders.
- Reworked the https://www.samceda.org/ website to focus on up-to-the-minute and fully vetted information for San Mateo County’s businesses (the interface will change in the next day as our IT company is working overtime on organizing the vast amount of information we have collected and vetted.)
- Launched a small business economic impact survey with over 1,200 responses to date and data shared with all economic development departments in our 21 jurisdictions.
If you’d like to help support our local small business community, you can make a donation to the San Mateo County Strong Fund on their website. There you can choose to direct your donation to families/individuals, local small businesses or non-profits.
So far California has done a great job of adhering to the SiP guidelines, and as a result there have been signs of a flattening curve. Today, Governor Newsom announced a 4-phase plan for gradually re-opening the state, which includes allowing some business activities to resume in a limited capacity starting May 3rd. If we all continue to do our part to continue adhering to these SiP guidelines, the second phase of this plan may role out in just a few weeks, which is when we will start to see retail shops, manufacturing, and public spaces start to open up again. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, people! Let’s all stay positive and continue to support each other any way we can.
Thank you for your time, Rosanne! And an even bigger thank you for all the work you and SAMCEDA continue to do for our community.