August 17, 2018

Once again, our county has been negatively impacted by fires and once again we have come together to help one another. When residents in small rural communities are displaced, businesses in those communities lose revenue. The displacement of Lake County residents resulting from the Mendocino Complex Fires has impacted many Lake County businesses, especially in the evacuated areas.

As we try to settle back in to our respective communities, please keep in mind the businesses that provide jobs and services in Lake County and remember that these businesses rely on local support and commerce. Do your best to spend your hard-earned money locally, let folks know that Lake County is open for business, post positive experiences on social media, volunteer to help a business cleanup or reopen. Check in with local business organizations like the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Lakeport Main Street Association, the North Shore Business Association, Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, Clearlake Oaks-Glenhaven Business Association, Middletown Area Merchants Association, and the Kelseyville Business Association regarding opportunities to assist local businesses.

Efforts to receive a federal disaster declaration and in turn federal assistance through FEMA, SBA, USDA, and other federal agencies is ongoing. However, assistance is available through local service providers such as LARCA Rotary District 5130 Fire Relief Fund.

Recent Lake County Economic Development Corporation activity includes:

• Outreach for state and federal assistance to businesses due to current fires.

• Business assistance with several Lake County businesses.

• Disbursement of business loan funding up to $150,000.

• Coordination with local services providers and lenders for direct business assistance.

• Collaboration with the County of Lake and Cities of Clearlake and Lakeport regarding business retention, expansion, and attraction.

And, in an effort to alleviate affordable housing needs in Lake County, the Lake County EDC is currently engaged with federal and local stakeholders to coordinate several housing fairs around the county. The goal of the fairs is to expedite home ownership in Lake County by aligning home buyers with home builders, lenders, and realtors. The next housing fair is scheduled for Friday, September 7 at 9:30 a.m. at the Black Rock Golf Course located at 16451 Golf Rd., Cobb.

We wish all our best to all of Lake County in this time of need!

The Lake County EDC provides no-cost business services throughout Lake County and has worked with hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs since its incorporation in 1983 helping to facilitate the creation and retention of over 340 jobs. Services include access to capital, business planning, and marketing assistance. The Lake County EDC may also be contacted at (707) 279-1540, ext. 101, or like and follow us on Facebook.